margonaut blog archive (2004-2014)

30Jun/053

that healing feeling

every physical illness
has a metaphorical key
to finding your way in
the world be it stress
or creative stagnation
listen to your body it
knows much better than
you can possibly think

30Jun/050

citizen journalism

Here's a tidbit on the effect that the Internet is having on how people get their news!

Democratic Media: A Do-it-Yourself Starter Kit
http://www.prwatch.org/node/3782
Running counter to this trend, there is a growing citizen journalism movement that is broadening the ranks of reporters and bringing in new voices that are more diverse and harder to tame than companies like Viacom or Disney. One of the most successful examples, South Korea's OhMyNews, has played an important role in transforming the country's traditionally conservative, corrupt political system. It has also become a commercial success and has grown to include an English-language international edition.

As the archbishop observed in his sermon, internet-powered citizen journalism has the potential to undermine some of the "near-monopolistic practices" and "control of the product" now found in the traditional media, but it has some problems of its own: "Unwelcome truth and necessary and prompt rebuttal are characteristic of the web-based media. So are paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry. The atmosphere is close to that of unpoliced conversation – which tends to suggest that the very idea of an appropriate professionalism for journalists begins to dissolve."

26Jun/053

obscene destruction of the forest

Today I went hiking in an area near my house that is slated to be logged soon. It was both gorgeous and totally depressing to imagine.

The plan is to leave only a very small buffer around the creek and a few of the "veteran" old trees in place. One of the bigger trees was spraypainted in blue with the word "leave" on it!

The forest is not just a bunch of trees. It's an ecosystem that includes other plants, mosses, animals, insects, fungi, soil microorganisms, and more. It's possible to do sustainable forestry (where only some of the trees are cut down so everything else can survive and continue) but unfortunately, today the forestry business is all about clearcutting, because it means more money now. Even if new trees are planted, the ecosystem of the forest is destroyed. The area I visited today has rare frogs, salamanders, mosses, and a few amazing 700+ year old trees.

Unfortunately, sustainability isn't compatible with a stock market driven economy where business is under pressure to continually grow profits! To "succeed" requires greed! It doesn't take a math genius to see that eternal growth is not possible and something has to give.

One of the worst parts about this is that this destruction is government sponsored. Tax dollars are being used to destroy the environment! Timber is big business and corrupt governments keep this going because of money and dangerous short-term economic thinking.

It used to seem like there would be trees available forever and ever, but today logging methods are high tech and devastatingly fast. In some areas, they're up there with lights and going 24/7.

I seriously wonder if the people who direct and approve these projects have any concience whatsoever. Perhaps they don't understand that what we do to the Earth, we ultimately do to ourselves. Perhaps they just don't care about future generations or anyone but themselves.

25Jun/050

is this really what’s important?

Here are two stories about how one missing girl case has dominated the American news: one from the BBC and one from a Political Teen blog!

Missing teen case grips US media
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4125492.stm
Columnist and author Arianna Huffington says: "If you were to get your news only from television, you'd think the top issue facing our country right now is an 18-year-old girl named Natalee who went missing in Aruba.

"Every time one of these stories comes up, like, say, Michael Jackson, when it's finally over I think, what a relief, now we can get back to real news. But we never do."

The Political Teen: everyone drop what you're doing a white girl has gone missing
http://thepoliticalteen.net/2005/06/04/everyone-drop-what-theyre-doing-a-white-girl-has-gone-missing/
I am sorry to hear that another person has gone missing and there is no sign as to where she is. However, why is it always white, young, girls that seem to make news. You know there are hundreds, if not thousands of other people missing, but it is always the stereotype that is on your 6 o’clock news.

Filed under: news & media No Comments
23Jun/050

an interesting ethics concept

Since we can't fully escape from using environmentally destructive fossil fuels just yet, here's an interesting concept on how individuals and organizations can attempt to balance that out ethically: pay an additional fee that will be applied towards climate change research!

Climatecare.org
http://www.climatecare.org
Climate Care Trust Limited sells CO2 reductions, and funds projects around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. The reductions made balance our clients’ emissions, making their activities climate neutral.

I'm not sure how effective this will be in practice, but it's certainly better than doing nothing. It's also good to see The Guardian using it on a business-wide scale.

Imagine what could be done if the US Government would spend billions on developing alternative energy sources instead of on an endless War! Now THERE'S something that would make a difference!

Unfortunately, that won't happen until enough people wake the *&#$ up and stop electing oil barons into office.

17Jun/050

a smart way to reach people

The UN has produced a video game about solving world hunger that has a strong educational component!

Food Force
http://www.food-force.com
Play the game, learn about food aid, and help WFP work towards a world without hunger.

Food Force

Filed under: technology No Comments
16Jun/053

just another idea

The meaning of life
is just the fact that
we are all interconnected
with the Earth and each other
our individual identities
are fluid and temporary
everything but Now, here
is an illusion of separation
the meaning of life
is coming back over & over
because we need to learn
about the illusiory nature
of all but LOVE
and to teach the others
in the context of making
our way on 3D Earth
cooking, carrying water, chopping wood
we're social creatures
not meant to be
locked up in cars, cubicles, and TV
give up ESCAPISM
take up ACTIVISM
you can participate
in reality more than
you think
just refine your Self
in thought, word, and deed
give up self-interest
for the greater good
which includes
LIVING LIFE FULLY
awake/aware in every moment
knowing every emotion
every reaction
every "problem"
is a reflection/refraction
of Love

Filed under: poetry 3 Comments
14Jun/052

"neuro-marketing"

Marketing is all about the psychology of buying. Our purchasing habits are studied through our debit cards, credit cards, airmiles cards, and survey people calling us at home during dinner.

There are people who spend their careers pushing the limits of how to manipulate people to desire and buy more things.

Marketers try high-tech tool to push brain's 'buy button'
http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/06/13/neuro-marketing050613.html
Brain scan technology, such as functional MRIs, shows which parts of the brain are activated by impulses. Some marketers theorize that since the scans suggest positive or negative reactions, the technology can help them to fine-tune their message.

11Jun/050

consumerism without the "freedom"

Just what Microsoft needs, another business decision that will make the company even more unpopular!

Microsoft bans 'democracy' for China web users
http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=FT&Date=20050610&ID=4884671
Microsoft's new Chinese internet portal has banned the words "democracy" and "freedom" from parts of its website in an apparent effort to avoid offending Beijing's political censors.

Filed under: technology No Comments
9Jun/050

redefining Chistianity

Here's an interesting article by a former Catholic Priest who was kicked out of The Church by the current Pope. His ideas about reforming Christianity again for the special challenges of our modern age are controversial but compelling!

The Reformation 500 years later - Matthew Fox speaks on the need for religious change
http://www.commonground.ca/iss/0506167/cg167_fox.shtml
In 2005, an analogous situation prevails but with added dimensions of seriousness. Among these is the peril that the human species faces along with the thousands of other species that are going extinct on the planet. It is an extinction spasm not witnessed on the Earth for 65 million years. The last time such a spasm occurred was when the dinosaurs disappeared.
Human knowledge and technology are the most significant cause of this extinction spasm today. Isn’t this another way of saying that religion is not doing its task?

I'm planning on seeing him in Vancouver next month at the Cosmic Mass at Christ Church Cathedral. It should be quite an experience/spectacle!

I have faith that this kind of thing will catch on in some of the more open-minded Christian churches in North America (especially those languishing for new, younger members for their congregations.)

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. Psalm 149:3 (King James Version)