Archive for January, 2012

Naturally knowing yourself

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The mind has natural functions or processes where many things interact, where the messages we get are coordinated: The sounds, the sights, the smells, the heat or cold, the words we understand or not and interpret, the physical challenges, the hunger we may feel, the laughter – it is all hugely complex. This machine of ours seems to be in constant activity, the energy spent is huge. But sometimes we are in need of relaxation, a soothing voice, a bit of meditation? The machine has to slow down.

Why do we have to relax, withdraw – kind of stop the machine from time to time. A change of environment often lets us continue, a bit of encouragement makes us go on. It is often all in your mind.

There are thoughts too that pulls us one way or the other, we react in many ways depending upon what we think the message means.

Taste is smell they say. Aromatic molecules from your mouth enters your nose, and then your brain gets a message – depending upon who you are, what your experiences are, your personality, what you have eaten before. Food is good or bad, depending on the machine inside you. Unbelievable things may be eaten if your machine accepts it.

We are all different – within strict limits – and the interpretation of what goes on is all your own, you are a special kind of human. You do your own thing, you see, smell things, hear and so on in your own way.

There is work to do here – on your self: you are the only one who can deeply see what is going on, understand it and live with it. You should try to find out who you are and how you function, how your machinery works. If you need to change is another matter – it is not necessarily so – you may well be able to live fine as you do – with a little understanding from yourself.

But the more you are willing to work the more conscious you may become. You can understand this apparatus of yours in fantastic ways, you can raise your consciousness many levels. You may see the possibilities of  wholeness and integration, be more active, more thoughtful, maybe a more balanced person, you may be able to use your senses and your intellect in awesome ways. You may understand why you do things, how you do them, why you go for certain things and suppress others, why you are nervous, what your dreams are about, why you lie or resist, when you are comfortable, when aggression rises.

The question of suffering enters into it, understanding and accepting suffering in its many forms is possible when you know yourself. You should see to it that you interact well with people, that the social part of life is understood to.

The forces in you and the power of your mind may increasingly surprise you, and you may think of good ways to utilize this power. The possibilities of humans are not fully understood now, as we live in many ways that takes away the power to do the possible.

The challenge of knowing yourself is a light one, but the work may be hard! Rich rewards may come your way if you persevere.

What is the truth about climate warming?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

16 scientists have signed a declaration about the global warming situation. They claim that we do not need to do anything dramatic to stop global warming.

Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever has publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS). His main concern is the expression that APS uses saying that the evidence of global warming due to human release of CO2 is incontrovertible.

He says that the facts are not in place – we must find the facts. He finds support – wide support – increasing support among scientists.

There is a “warming establishment” – and it is rather inconvenient for them that there is no measurable warming yet. The warming is also smaller than the warming predicted in the 22 years since IPCC issued their first projections. It seems the computer models used have exaggerated how much warming CO2 can cause.

CO2 is not a pollutant – it is exhaled by all of us, it is an important factor in the biosphere’s life cycle. By adding CO2 in greenhouses plants increase their growth.

The number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, but dissent and open factual discussion is still not the order of the day. Dissent is not mainstream, it may even lead to dismissals jobwise.

Why is there such disagreement? Why not a calm and collected discussion? It seems it is about money as alarmism is of great benefit to many in finding funding for causes that are found distressing. Politicians, bureaucracies, organisations all want to save the world, and start working to find the money and get things going.

The conclusion of the scientists are: “There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy.” A good policy now would be “to allow 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now.”

Maybe more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet? That question should also be looked into.

Scientist should now continue good scientific work – checking, measuring, analysing, building understanding of nature. Science is seldom based on uncotrovertible facts – we gradually find truth, then new truth – it never stops.
We must understand climate to live reasonably well on Earth – dictates are no good. It is sad if climate warming is a hype, and all about money?

Let us find the facts by working well, thouroughly, objectively – and fairly fast so that a common understanding can be developed.

Iran: The looming war – the continuation of Western idiocy

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Iranians are proud citizens of the world, it is said that Iranians are wise, they also have a proud history going back to the start of human civilisation. Their culture is rich. They are among the biggest oil producers on Earth (6th.) The strait of Hormuz is important, lots of oil go through there.

The media are showing pictures of US warships far from home – near Iran. The USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS John C. Stennis are fearful machines with atomic reactors, 90 planes and about 6000 men each, and other classified equipment. They have been on duty in Irak, and are now ready for more missions. A war may be coming – and that would be pure idiocy.

There will be a presidential election in the US later this year, and candidates are taking their positions. All candidates are hot against Iran, so warmongering seems to be the way to become president of the US!

The West have sanctions against Iran, the latest being an oil import ban.

Iran had a prime minister Mossadegh that was engineered out of his position by US and Brit intelligence they say. The Shah was installed they say with help from same. Iran has tried to nationalize its own oil resources – surprise –  succeeded and now has about 80% of its national income from oil. Iranians have a notion – shared by many – that oil should not be burned. They want to find better uses for it.

They have had a nuclear programme since at least the 1950s trying to build nuclear power stations to produce electricity. Many nations have assisted in the building of these installations. This has clearly not been a success – it is difficult to find firm evidence of producing power stations – and now have a nuclear programme of research, uranium enrichment and say they are working to build nuclear power stations on an independent basis.

The Iranian view is that a development of nuclear weapons is not in the national interest of Iran, there would just be an escalation in the area. They will not have it – it just increases the security risk.

There is also the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons, and have not signed the NPT, along with India, Pakistan and North korea.

Recently 5 Iranian nuclear scientists were killed by “unknown attackers” without Western media saying much about that.

The IAEA have not found conclusively that Iran has a weapons programme, the information we are given through the media is coming from US sources – with a little help from Israel? – as assessments and allegations – no firm proof seems to have been found. This has been going on for a long time, and the pair of Cheney and Rumsfeld have been at it too.

Iran have many friends in the nuclear business – Argentine, France, Russia, lately Venezuela. Iran as well as many other nations – Brazil, Turkey, at least a dozen –  want to do their own nuclear programs including enriching their own uranium – without pushing and pressure from anybody – they insist on independence.

For Iran this is really about the right a nation has to do what it wants. The IAEA’s El-Baradei says that “many other nations are enriching uranium without the world making any fuss about it.”

This is clearly a complex mixture. The question of how China sees it could come up too. It should also be noted that China is a big buyer of Iranian oil.

It seems a conflict is consciously being built by the US and its allies, the real threats, the proven threats are coming from the West, piece by piece. Their ships are cruising around in a threatening manner waiting for orders to release their weapons. The US i going on regardless: “The push to boost the power of the the 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator MOP is part of stepped-up contingency planning for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear program, say U.S. officials.” (WSJ). There is an obvious US agenda showing itself!

It is not in the interest of the world to let the US continue these kind of schemes. Moving their wars from place to place? Now it is Iran – what next? There are deep changes coming, the US has less than 5% of the world’s population, many other and bigger nations can not let this activity go on much longer.

The IAEA is not allowed to do its job as there obviously are higher agendas afoot, there are many others involved with their own many faceted agendas, a dangerous situation is being created, there is media spin, intelligence workers buzzing about. The West are clearly the provocateurs – alleging and assessing, but again being unable to show proof.

What kind of nation is Iran? About 67 million people – a little more than France – oil rich, famed culture going a long way back, relative freedom, although religious control can be harsh. They are wise – they would not do what the creators of the  allegations and assessments are putting out into the world. We should talk to each other – any way.

Are we wise?

Evolving ourselves – ordinary men and women – into true philosophers

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Living is often easy and often it is not easy at all – you have a crisis, mental, physical, economic, you are about to die, or some of many other possible difficulties.

There are conflicts, catastrophies – all sorts of things to be concerned with.

So you need a mindset to get you through life – you preferably should have a conscious or controlled approach to whatever happens, because one day – sooner or later – your fortunes will change. It is also certain that one day you will surely die.

The diversity of solutions to this is complex and multifaceted: Religions of many kinds, spiritualism, the thinking of gurus, self-evolved solutions. Many depressed people get medicines to take them through daily life.

There also seems to be differences between parts of the world – between East and West. Both places have great philosophers – men thinking grand thoughts about living a life, being part of society, being ethical humans. Political and economic thought are also part of the philosophy of the world. Often these are fully or partly integrated, i.e. Muslim thinking.

Thinking about the way we live seems to be more widespread and common – infused – in Eastern societies than in the West. In general people in the East are more concerned, more conscious about their way of life – the happenings, the the past, the future, history, what has been and what will come is shown respect. The Chinese even have the book of changes I Ching. The level of ethics is generally high. They know their philosphers: Tao, Buddha, Zen masters, gurus like Sri Aurobindo, the impact of philosophy is high.

In the West philosophy has been a largely intellectual activity – an endeavour without much practical consequence – you take a course at university and then you forget it. Philosophy is for the philosophers, not for ordinary people. It is an intellectual game with models and sophisticated constructs, it is highbrow and fanciful. This lack of a philosophical basis means Western society has lost its ethics, its morals, its purpose – we are now consumers chasing the golden prize.

This ought to be changed – and luckily there are new approaches that could prove to be significant. The fusion of Eastern and Western thought could be a viable way forward, and many people have written and spoken about that – for example Gurdjieff and Naess.

The consciousness about what we are here for ought to be elevated, thinking about our personal roles and aims, our role in the great cosmos, our treatment of ourselves and the Earth. We need a philosophy of the world for the ordinary woman and man – a way of thinking that can lead to understanding the self, to self-realization and sustainability.

The thinking of the East and the West should be taken as a whole – to develop a new set of whole ideas for mankind. The aim should be to have everybody be conscious about life and cosmos – to be true philosophers.

We need to find truth in all matters whatever it is, we need to eradicate violence in all forms, we must stop violating the world we live in, the world must become one of dialogue among all, economic greed is unsustainable. The social and economic stratification of people we see today is unsustainable – the basis is sound equality among all men.

Diversity is a central point, we must search for possible practicable solutions in all local habitats, to realize the possibilities where they can be found. Man is not supreme, he is part of a larger ecosystem and must find his natural place there. Diversity must not be reduced by monocrops, stripmining, spreading chemicals, outhunting species or similar.

We must agree on a sustainable population on the Earth through dialogue. The answer to that question is completely unknown today. At present rates of  of population growth there will be about 14 million people on the Earth in about 70 years time. That could be sustainable or it may not – we must find out before we get there.

Establishing the interconnection of everything is a great goal for humanity – to make a good foundation for material life and wellbeing of everything living. The aim must be to engage all people in this endeavour so that we all can contribute our part, be active in our own lives, build society, make cosmos sustainable.

Be concerned with building consensus based on fact, be cooperative in all matters, remove antagonism, develop love among all.

The world is large, it is well built, it can serve us well if we let it, all people must be made thinkers so they can see the reality of what we are doing, so that we can get nearer to a sustainability of everything.

First we must all become philosophers – and empiricalists relating to reality. Hands on – that is the way. You and me and all.

How much should you care?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The world is rolling along, circling, revolving, seasons change, day and night come and go. There are huge processes taking place in the ecosystems we all are part of. 7 billion humans are busy doing all sort and manner of things.

An enormous spectacle unfolds continously. Seemingly random acts occur as well, throwing us all into awe or fear.

And what should your role be in this grand show? How much part of it are you really? Does it matter where you are, what you do?

Maybe the answer is no.

Should you care, think, speak up, even do something so that the mass of events can be righted or adjusted according to yourself, your group, your community, your nation, your …whatever.. globally?

The only solution is obvious and so simple. Stay away as much as you can, do not identify unnecessarily with anything, do your own thing. Be a presence now, where you are, now. Focus. Concentrate. Live in the now. Go for your aims.

The best and only thing you can do is to make sure you live in the now, that is your only task, and it is neverending, it never stops.

And that goes for everybody else to.

If we all did just that the world would be such a good place. Perhaps one day it will.  Maybe it matters after all what you do and the answer should be yes it matters what you do. Live in the system, accept it, change it by doing your own thing. Now.

Eternal – or at least long – life

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

We shall all die.

This has been said to happen in the long run for most us – after a long life. Breaking this cycle has been a dream for humans ever – how to cheat the bearer of death.

Knowledge is advancing, we do research, things are falling into place – we have started to see some of the factors influencing the time of death. By living well and caring for your body we usually stay alive longer. Some people have worn out parts replaced – hip joints, hearts, diverse organs.

It also seems that once you have reproduced – i.e. after a certain age – a deterioration sets in, the body has done its work – or is supposed to – you now have children – you may die. A fine system that is as life goes on but you die – you are not of any use any more.

If true these are harsh messages to have – you may very likely refuse to accept such a story – but research goes on and what will we know next?

So therefore if we want to find life lengthening approaches we must prolong life by renewing the parts of our body that fails – go into a cycle of replacement so to speak. Some people are building theories – Aubrey de Grey examplewise – his SENS or Strategies for engineered negligible senescence consisting of seven factors – it is also a system. Anti-aging can thus be handled systematically, you will be serviced when need be.

Anti oxidants seem to be important – removing free radicals by having enough antioxidants. The life of cells, changes, oxidization, breakdowns, vitamins: New technologies are needed. Stem cells for making new parts is one, but it could lead lead to illnesses also  - there are at the moment many things to consider and find out. de Grey – keep it up – interesting stuff. de Grey was born in 1963 – so he is still a fairly young one.

But the return of another methods is still with us – eat less or as little as you can, get near the point of starvation and you be here for a long time. Not a comfortable life that! Would you be willing to do that if you stay on another tens of years? Maybe you could hypnotise the body to think it is starving?

It seems nobody clearly understands the processes, many substances are involved, much knowledge is lacking.

So do not be silly but wise, and do as best you can – life can be very rich in many ways – even if you were not allotted so much time here. Average life lengths are getting longer all the time, so something is working.

The global warming confusion – the CO2 confusion – the hoax

Monday, January 16th, 2012

It is now presented as a certainty – we will have global warming due to CO2 produced by humans.

The IPCC said there is a probability based on consensus – not on actual numbers – that we will have global warming in about a hundred years time – about 1.5-2 degrees Celsius. Now some say that it is already here, some say it is accelerating and will be felt harshly in about the year 2050……. The confusion is near complete – there is no longer a coherent voice in this wilderness, no true authority.

So we have to be pragmatic, reserve our viewpoints a bit and see what happens, what is right. There is truth out there somewhere, but it is not easily seen at the moment.

An article in Nature claims that the fish in the sea is being disturbed by increased concentrations of CO2 in its environment. This increase in CO2 is said to be due to human activity. The central nervous system of the fish is affected. It is amazing that researchers have been able to pinpoint this effect to the CO2 produced by human activity!

Increasing amounts of CO2 make the sea more acidic, but there seems to be little agreement about the numbers involved, the volumes of CO2 involved.

We must for the sake of scientific rigour  be permitted to ask a few questions. The approximate number for CO2 in the atmosphere is about 400 ppm, of which about 15 ppm are made by humans – or about 3%. If we remove all the CO2 produced by humans from the Earth’s atmosphere the amount of CO2 would basically be the same.

The numbers have been stable for many years, and there are many factors influencing them. The most wellknown are water vapours and sunspot activity. They cause large changes in the atmospheric conditions year by year.

The ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 is open to debate, and so are the processes of the seas.

So what numbers do we need to have a meaningful discussion:

  • The actual present numbers for CO2 in the atmosphere, and their development over time, long term and  short term, time series of up to hundred years
  • The changes in the acidity of the oceans, possible local variations, long term and short term, time series, the processes
  • The effects of water vapour
  • The effects of solar activity
  • What are the peak levels, what are acceptable stable levels

With a concentration of about 400 ppm, with 7 billion people on the Earth, an assumption of a system that can absorb about 5 billion tons/year, the average emission pr. person would be about 0.7 tons/year. Today the emissions are about 20 tons/year/person in the US, 10 in Europe, China 4, Africa 0.5.

The models must be improved, the discussion is not comprehensive enough now. The changes must come first and mostly in the US. If they do not take part the whole discussion is a big spin. Blaming the Chinese and the Africans is ridiculous! The prolongation of the Kyoto agreement to 2020 is a genuine joke.

The real debate must come about the combined effect of all environmental factors on the Earth – what is really happening is not well enough taken into account. The pre-eminence of climate gases is purely wrong – the real debate must start now: We are destroying the Earth, and the work to stop the destruction has not started yet.

We will never see these numbers, the factual science. So for a good future – stop the damage. The only way to it is to try to do your own bit, live a good life as best you can. We are being made asses of taking part in this hoax. The debate is closed.

Let the hoaxers suffer!

The development of engineering – a new direction

Friday, January 13th, 2012

We say that the world’s engineers have made great strides ahead – they can do amazing stuff: Big, smart, sophisticated, shattering…. many words can appropriately be used.

The technology is getting ever higher – more and more grand scale, more and more unlike the world we live in. We can make big machines, construct huge stuctures that that be seen from the skies, make enourmous changes to the face of the Earth. It is becoming obvious that engineering and technology does not only improve the state of the world, it often and increasingly degrades it, although we sometimes do a bit of fixing and repairs. We use brute force instead of elegant intelligence, and it is not going right.

It is not all dark – there are fine things too – intelligent little machinery that helps us in our daily lives, elegant improvements enhancing the surroundings.

Much engineering is now becoming large scale – agriculture, petrol production, planes are getting bigger and bigger, ships are huge, we dig enourmous holes in the ground to find metals and oil, transport designs are ambitious, forestry is about stripping woodland with large machines, datasystems are getting bigger and bigger and more and more integrated with each other. Technology has become a fixation – it must be always bigger and bigger, more and more comprehensive. There is money to be made.

So let us consider for a moment what we are about to do. We are influencing our surroundings negatively, some say we are destroying the environment, we are driven by the hunt for profit to larger and larger developments. Modern society is built on the mantra of more and more technology. Much of it is oil driven, totally dependent upon oil.

Let us pause for a moment and see how nature around us works – the natural world we live in.

Plants and animals are efficient creatures, and many organisms in nature show strikingly good design for their intended function. They leave no waste, they develop constantly, they even disappear when they are not needed.

Algae are one example of a perfect design where the light of the rays of the sun are utilized fully. Researchers are now modelling future solar panels from algae, related to both materials and form. So if they succeed we will have clean, efficient, cheap energy based on the designs found in the sea. Natural development over time have shown us how, we just must find it first and then we can use it.

Algae are a major part of the Earth’s biomass and are found in many sizes and shapes almost everywhere. Photosynthesis is the most important process in the world, and algae have conversion rates for sunshine that are much higher than for the silicon we use for solar panels now. The light that hits the panel must stay in there, not being reflected, just like algae.

Research is going on in Trondheim, Norway to find out what the mechanisms are, how to build the function of the algae into modern solar panels. There are tens of thousands of species of algae, the technology is advanced, nanostructured, with highly evolved shell design, transparency for good light reception.

So engineering is copying things already found in nature. Another example is how leaves are positioned on trees to give efficient growing conditions for the tree. It seems we can use nature’s methods to make energy because nature is good at converting sunlight into energy.

What else is nature good at? Should we simulate nature when possible, even to the extent of letting nature do the work for us? Maybe make nature produce more than it needs so that we can reap the surplus.

Nature obviously already does what we are trying to do. The algae builds its own powerplant as it grows – thin hard shells in a symmetric well designed form. We could search out these structures and similar ones, copy them, even use their energy for our purposes.

The leaves on trees are not growing haphazardly, they have a given well distributed structure to optimize the energy they can have from the sunlight.

So why build what nature has already built – why not let engineering’s foremost task be to tap into the possibilities of nature and find what nature can give us?

Human engineering is amazing. We can build fantastic things – tiny, big, etc., whatever.  But do we really have to do it this way? Why not let nature do what it does and then harvest its bounty sustainably?

What is really going on in nature? The fact is that we hardly know!

We know about the sun and photosynthesis (some), wind (some), waves and running water (little), sound (nothing), the radiation and magnetic fields of the Earth (little), movements of matter (nothing), thermal energy (some). The Earth is a huge energy system, a huge producer of materials/biomass, an efficient machine producing no waste, making only what it needs.

May be humans should stop doing things on their own, stop being contrary to natural processes, stop designing huge destructive machines and projects.

Let us change our ways, find a new direction, find out what is there already, use it sustainably. It could be great stuff. It should also relieve the workload we have to put in so we can spend more time thinking, socializing and playing.

A balanced world – Arabs included

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

We have talked about an Arab spring lately as many Arab countries are changing their ways. We have even talked about the rise or resurgence of the Arab world. The once mighty Arab nations were leaders in politics and culture and should rebuild their importance again.

There has been demonstrations, violence, war-like situations with bombing, fighter planes, killings and crackdowns. There is no clear outcome yet, but the movement is developing into more clear action with elections coming up in several countries.

Many countries are involved: Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, even Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and more. In Saudi Arabia a new prince is coming in, although he is said to be conservative.

The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is a fact and a new situation will develop there.

The Israel-Palestine question is also part of it as the US has been very pro-Israel and will suffer from that now.

The US-led boycott of Iran may also develop into a situation that is difficult to control.

The picture we have of Arab countries is heavily infleunced by Islam, but there are secular forces as well.

The systems of governance is perhaps the most challenging part, with a need for new institutions and practices. The economies are severely divided, and fair distribution, modernising are important themes.

A more coherent and independent, as well as forceful political presence on the world scene is also required.

The societies of the Arab world needs to be opened up, allowing free and independent thinking, culture in all its aspects.

So these are exciting times as we look forward to a world that includes the Arab countries in a broad sense – a more balanced world. It is not only about oil and Islam – we need their full presence, balancing America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia.

Go ahead then – develop a new foreign policy – one that includes the Arab world fully. Looking forward to that – the balanced world of the future that it will be.

The bio-electronic man: bionics

Monday, January 9th, 2012

When we scan a human brain we can see electronic signals forming patterns, giving us a picture of the brain activity. The body is a low-energy electrical system.

We can now find blind people with vision via electronics, curing diseases electronically, regulating body functions by means of circuits, switching off neurological disorders, circuits as being part of your bodys systems – we can do it today and serious work is progressing. We use implanted electronic devices that stimulate nerve or muscular tissue to operate limbs or fix nerve pathways. Heart peacemakers, hearing improvement by cochlear implants are well known.

The evolution of bionics via robotic arms and legs, bionic leg braces that can help arthritis patients, electronic eyes and more goes on. We are becoming machine assisted or neuro-bionic creatures.

Biology, electronics and output devices make bionics.

We have the bionic eye with camera, lenses, microchips connected to the retina and the optic nerve – a few signals now, later thousands. Fairly good vision will be possible.

Technology is being prototyped, and also neurological and psychiatric disorders are being considered.

Neurobionics goes right into the brain function controlling neural activity by delivering correctional electronic stimulation. Examples are epilepsy controlled by implant, electronic correction of neurological  disorders like schizofrenia or obsessive disorder.

There are also other aspects: Building interface for brain and computer, controlling computers with our microchipped brains, healing memory loss.

There are heavy ethical aspects to this, about what we can do to a perfectly healthy person, like enhancing ordinary thinking, focus your mind, stimulate parts of the brain that we don’t normally use, even increase intelligence.

The are also politics and commercial interests.

The ultimate question is: when the great chip is ready  and it can be used to control human behaviour, then should this be allowed to happen? Are there people out there evil enough to let this happen? Or is it enough to let development go on in full transparency?

The discussion about this should be kept open. Technology is often fine, but the possibility of misuse is always there. Strong ethics will, however, save the day.

Remember also that one day we will be able to scan the brain , interpret the signals so that we can se people’s thoughts. You may also be able to think up a document and transfer it via your thoughts to  a machine, have the machine give you messages via wireless signals, search the net via thinking, interacting with the mass of information that is building up in the cloud. It would be impossible to lie, unless you learn how to lock up your thoughts!

Scary yes, but definitely coming to us, gradually. Useful also, but beware!