“The shadows in the early morning don’t tell much. The shadows rest at that time. So it’s useless to gaze very early in the day. Around six in the morning the shadows wake up, and they are best around five in the afternoon. Then they are fully awake.”
Carlos Castaneda

The Second Ring of Power

Society and Science through the lens of Climate Change

n

More evidence that the objectivity of science is more elusive then most people want to believe:

“… climate scientists have been so distracted and intimidated by the relentless campaign against them that they tend to avoid any statements that might get them labeled “alarmists”

The problem was that Box was now working for the Danish government, and even though Denmark may be the most progressive nation in the world on climate issues, its leaders still did not take kindly to one of its scientists distressing the populace with visions of global destruction. Convinced his job was in jeopardy only a year after he uprooted his young family and moved to a distant country, Box was summoned before the entire board of directors at his research institute. So now, when he gets an e-mail asking for a phone call to discuss his “recent gloomy statements,” he doesn’t answer it.

… ‘I think most scientists must be burying overt recognition of the awful truths of climate change in a protective layer of denial (not the same kind of denial coming from conservatives, of course)’ …

… and for their pains the scientists themselves—the cruelest blow of all—have been the targets of an unrelenting and well-organized attack that includes death threats, summonses from a hostile Congress, attempts to get them fired, legal harassment, and intrusive discovery demands so severe they had to start their own legal-defense fund, all amplified by a relentless propaganda campaign nakedly financed by the fossil-fuel companies.

… consumption and growth have become so central to our sense of personal identity and the fear of economic loss creates such numbing anxiety, we literally cannot imagine making the necessary changes. Worse, accepting the facts threatens us with a loss of faith in the fundamental order of the universe.

… there’s a growing, ever-stronger antiscience sentiment in the U. S. A. People get really angry and really nasty.”

source

Still, I believe this perspective deserves more depth. According to Robert Pirsig during the 20th century a battle was fought between social morality (superficial politeness, political correctness, etc.) and intellectual morality (acting based on what you think is right instead of based on what others think is right and as a consequence what others will think of you).

“A society that tries to restrain the truth for it’s own purpose is a lower form of evolution than a truth that restrains society for it’s own purpose. Victorians repressed the truth whenever it seemed socially unacceptable …”

Social status was supposed to be replaced by intellectual status but social moral resisted. The opposite happened … intellectual status was dragged down to social status (a PhD became more of an honorary social badge then an indicator of intellectual pursuit) leaving us with both corrupt social morals AND corrupt intellect (the hippie movement rebelled and undermined both!) … and that is where we are stuck. Caught in a corrupted, deluded intellect, feeling nice about ourselves while dangerously misinformed (and acting accordingly).

To me this isn’t just theory. It points to where actions can be best leveraged. It demonstrates that issues such as American racism and climate change have common root-causes. It indicates that we need to reject superficiality and niceties and replace them with depth and purpose. We need to respect that this kind of mental shift is more accessible earlier in life then later. I, in my early forties, who have placed my life into demanding and challenging change, can already sense, even if slight, an inclination to slow down and settle into established patterns. This means that younger generations are key to change. It isn’t political discourse, even amidst undeniable crisis, that is going to create political critical mass for change. It is in conversations over family dinners where a younger generation equipped with depth, knowledge, care and (non-violent) communication skills will replace empty, cynical, repeating political arguments with meaningful, insightful dialogue. As I write this I think of disassociated youth and realize they are a sign of progress – they are no longer buying into empty superficiality. The question is then how to introduce them to meaningful purpose … how to inspire?

However this is a double-edged sword. Intellect needs to be liberated from society, but at the same time it needs to be placed in the service of heart … otherwise intellects runs amok.

 

Posted in AltEco, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Successful Customer Support

n

“… Even the most reactive, labor-intensive ticket represents an opportunity to earn goodwill with your customers. When you nail that experience you can create a ripple effect across revenue, social media, and the broader marketplace. That is customer support … Customer support, when done well, is a career. Every conversation, whether it’s reactive or proactive, is an opportunity to learn from your customers. “

Andrew Spittle via Matt Mullenweg

Posted in AltEco, Business, Intake, Open Source, outside, Tech Stuff, Wordpress | You are welcome to add your comment

Debt is Risk

n

It is amazing how this basic truth, that every capitalist knows, about debt is veiled from public consciousness when it suits creditors:

“From the beginning, Merkel and the EU have operated from the position that because Greece took on debt, Greece now needs to pay it back. That position assumed — bizarrely, in hindsight — that debt works only one way: If you lend someone money, that money is repaid.

But that is NOT how free markets work.

Debt is not a guarantee of future payments in full. Rather, it is a risk that creditors take, in hopes of maybe being paid tomorrow.

The key word there is “risk.”

If you’re willing to take the risk, you’ll get a premium — in the form of interest.

But the downside of that risk is that you lose your money. And Greece just called Germany’s bluff.”

source

Posted in Business, Greece, Intake, Money, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Crisis: Taking a Stance

n

Though its 2 or 3 years old this talk by Maria Scordialos feels even more relevant on this day that Greece is holding its referendum. Two ideas shimmered for me in her talk:

  1. That the word for “crisis” in Greek does not mean something broken or tragic but that it means taking a stance.
  2. That the crisis Greece is experiencing is practically forcing it to become ecological … that relationships and community is being forced upon a society who’s history has nurtured separated individuals.

I discovered her yesterday in a talk with Charles Eisenstein where she raises an interesting point I have wondered about too … how conscious are the current Greek leaders of the shift in story that is manifesting through them?

Offered in respect for the hardships that Greeks have endured on behalf of us all.

Posted in AltEco, Greece, Intake, Money, outside | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Obama’s Stealth Startup

n

It seems that Obama has launched an interesting information technology experiment: the United States Digital Services program. In large part thanks to the fiasco of the original Healthcare.gov launch after which a small group of Silicon Vally tech experts were hired to get the job re-done. Open-source goes to government?

via Matt Mullenweg

 

Posted in AltEco, Design, Intake, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to add your comment