Posts Tagged ‘Colchester’
The hidden gifts of nature.
I have been a follower of Alex Jones’ blog The Liberated Way for many months; possibly much longer. Frequently, I republish one of Alex’s posts here.
Nearly six months ago, I read a lovely essay of his and made a mental note to republish that in the next few days. Then the world overtook me and now April 30th, when Alex published this piece, has become September 8th!
Yet it hasn’t lost a heartbeat of meaning.
Read on and you will agree.
The hidden gifts of nature.
The western education system ignores nature.
The holidays are over in the UK, the students return to school, some to their exams. I reflect upon the sad treatment of creativity, wisdom, nature and natural philosophy in education, and in Western society as a whole, treated as worthless and unworthy of consideration.
On most days I walk past the former home of William Gilbert, some consider the father of electricity and magnetism. Born to a wealthy merchant family in my town of Colchester, Gilbert invested his personal wealth in an extensive study of magnetism with view to assisting the explorers of the Elizabethan age when Britain was building an empire in a period of great prosperity and confidence. Gilbert invented the term electricity. Gilbert wrote De Magnete, considered possibly the first work using the scientific method. In addition to being a scientist, a doctor to Elizabeth I, Gilbert was also a natural philosopher who used the empirical method of observation, demonstration and experience of nature to form his theories.
Each day I watch and interact with nature, like Gilbert I am a natural philosopher, and this forms the basis of my business ideas, my scientific understanding and my personal philosophies. Rather than a worthless study nature opens the door to the philosophy of the understanding of self, the world, and the relationship of self to the world. Wisdom is born of action and experience, the interactions with nature gives birth to wisdom. Nature encourages people to do new things in new ways, so rerouting electric signals in the brain causing new connections to form of creativity. The philosophy emerges from nature by causing the mind to question, observe and experiment, the basis of science and success in any discipline.
Colchester, in the English county of Essex, goes way back to Roman times when the town was called Camulodunon (which was latinised as Camulodunum). That name is believed to date back to the Celtic fortress of “Camulodunon”, meaning Stronghold of Camulos. It served as the first capital of Roman Britain making a claim to be the oldest town in Britain.
It is where Alex Jones lives, the author of The Liberated Way, and where during the 1980’s I ran a business under the name of Dataview Ltd. In fact, the business was located in a very old, listed building known as The Portreeve’s House. It was at the bottom of town near Hythe Quay on the River Colne and the name “Portreeve” is old English for harbour master, i.e. it was originally the harbour master’s house.
All seems a long way from Southern Oregon!
A highly pertinent post from Alex Jones.
I have written previously on Learning from Dogs about the future having to be local if we are to stand any chance of coping with what is ahead. So it was a delight to read this post from Alex’s blog The Liberated Way. In my opinion, Alex is spot on the mark.
The rise of localism
Posted on August 6, 2014
Globalism and central control is coming to an end.
The first of a series of debates on Scottish independence from the UK took place yesterday, the vote for independence takes place next month. The campaign for Scottish independence is part of a larger paradigm shift away from globalism to localism around the world. Cornwall, Wales, Mercia, Yorkshire and Wessex are all campaigning for independence in the UK. Even in my town of Colchester we want to take back control of highways from external authorities.
The European elections this year resulted in a surge in anti-EU nationalistic parties doing well. UKIP which wants the UK to leave the EU was the clear winner in the UK in the European elections. The UN is increasingly seen as ineffective in the face of international crisis, often used by a few powerful nations, and ignored by practically everyone. Israel recently expressed the contempt nations now have for the UN by bombing UN schools in Gaza.
The USSR has broken up into small nations, as has Yugoslavia. Sudan split into two and Georgia into three nations. There is talk of California in the USA breaking into six states, and a growing but still small movements for other states breaking away from the Union altogether. The fighting in East Ukraine is as much about local Russians wanting to determine their own future as the international games of chess between the superpowers.
Flanders is seeking to break from Belgium; Catalonia and the Basque Country want to break from Spain; the city of Venice wants to break from Italy; Quebec is looking to break from Canada; Kurdistan and many other Peoples are seeking to form their own nation states out of the chaos of Iraq, Syria and Libya.
New forms of local currency such as the Totnes pound and electronic currencies such as Bitcoin challenge the bankers. Until recently my local council Essex Council was talking about creating its own bank for local people. Corporates such as Starbucks are considering creating their own currencies, in effect becoming their own banks. Multiple non-banking payment systems such as PayPal are now part of internet commerce. In the face of sanctions Russia has created their own version of VISA for citizens to pay their bills.
The internet has helped to break up the power of information monopolies where the citizen blogger is as effective as a journalist in the New York Times. The internet places greater power in the hands of the individual on the local level.
Water, energy, food and debt are the four great forces now driving the world politically, economically and socially. The many chasing a diminishing amount of resources drives people to fight or conserve their resources. Huge growing public and private debt is destroying nation states, driving the momentum to think local rather than global. The Greek economic crisis drove local people back to the land, to become self-sufficient, and create systems of trade outside of the global financial system.
I support localism, and I designed my business with localism in mind. The growing international crisis will force people to become local, sustainable and self-reliant. As the money runs out nations, communities and individuals will quickly learn that it is down to themselves to live or die.
Couldn’t agree more.
Hardly seems necessary to say this but natural forces are ‘top of the pyramid‘!
As is so often the case, a few outwardly disconnected events offered a deeper picture; well they did for me!
The first was a recently published post by Alex Jones over on his blog The Liberated Way. Alex lives in Colchester, Essex, North-East of London, a place where I ran a business way back in the ’80’s’ and lived not far away in the village of Great Horkesley. Many people, including many Brits are unaware that Colchester, or Camulodunon as the Celtics called it, meaning “the Fortress of Camulos” (Camulos was the Celtic god of war), was the Capitol city in Roman days and that evidence of man’s settlement goes back 3,000 years.
Anyway, back to the thread of today’s post.
That first post from Alex. A post under the title of Catching a fox. Alex has generously given me permission to republish it.
Catching a fox.
After two years of hunting I catch a fox with my camera.
Nature is a shifting tapestry of life, often catching me by surprise with magical manifestations of wildlife that abruptly vanish before I can catch a brief record of its passing through my life. It is a matter of chance that I get lucky with my camera, and I was in luck today.
This morning a fox manifested in my garden. The fox sat looking at me, it had a forlorn look about it, but the fox was content to sit and watch me as it sun bathed in the warmth of a tranquil garden. I had my camera with me, so I made up for two years of frustration by firing off dozens of photographs of my elusive wary model. The fox made my day.
The second event was a chance photograph of a vulture taken two days ago here at home.
Now I’m sure that readers so far will find these three photographs, of the fox and the vulture, are producing feelings of pleasure; feelings of wonderment about the natural world around us.
That world of nature ‘speaks’ to us. If we are prepared to listen.
It spoke to South-West England in February earlier this year:
There are signs that Mother Nature will be speaking to us again; fairly soon. From EarthSky:
Warm water in Pacific could spark a monster El Nino in 2014
The giant red blob in this image is a huge, unusual mass of warm water that currently spans the tropical Pacific Ocean. Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate, says the volume of water is big enough to cover the United States 300 feet deep. And that’s a lot of warm water, he says. Holthaus also says that, as the sub-surface warm water in the Pacific moves eastward – propelled by anomalous trade winds – it’s getting closer to the ocean’s surface. Once the warm water hits the sea surface, it will begin to interact with the atmosphere. Why? Because Earth’s oceans and atmosphere are always interacting. In this case, the warm water will likely boost temperatures and change weather patterns … and possibly bring on a monster El Nino in 2014. There are signs this is already beginning to happen. Read more at Slate.
If one clicks on the link to that Slate article, one then reads:
By Eric Holthaus
The odds are increasing that an El Niño is in the works for 2014—and recent forecasts show it might be a big one.
As we learned from Chris Farley, El Niños can boost the odds of extreme weather (droughts, typhoons, heat waves) across much of the planet. But the most important thing about El Niño is that it is predictable, sometimes six months to a year in advance.
That’s an incredibly powerful tool, especially if you are one of the billions who live where El Niño tends to hit hardest—Asia and the Americas. If current forecasts stay on track, El Niño might end up being the biggest global weather story of 2014.
The most commonly accepted definition of an El Niño is a persistent warming of the so-called “Niño3.4” region of the tropical Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii, lasting for at least five consecutive three-month “seasons.” A recent reversal in the direction of the Pacific trade winds appears to have kicked off a warming trend during the last month or two. That was enough to prompt U.S. government forecasters to issue an El Niño watch last month.
Forecasters are increasingly confident in a particularly big El Niño this time around because, deep below the Pacific Ocean’s surface, off-the-charts warm water is lurking:
Now I’m not going to post the whole of that article so for that reason strongly recommend you read the rest here. However, I am going to offer a couple more extracts.
The warm water just below the ocean’s surface is on par with that of the biggest El Niño ever recorded, in 1997-98. That event caused $35 billion in damages and was blamed for around 23,000 deaths worldwide, according to the University of New South Wales. The 1997-98 El Niño is also the only other time since records begin in 1980 that sub-surface Pacific Ocean water has been this warm in April.
Or like this:
One of the theories put forth by the mainstream scientific community to explain the slow-down since 1998 has been increased storage of warm water in the Pacific Ocean. If that theory is true, and if a major El Niño is indeed in the works, the previously rapid rate of global warming could resume, with dramatic consequences.
As I wrote last fall, the coming El Niño could be enough to make 2014 the hottest year in recorded history, and 2015 could be even warmer than that. The 1997-98 super El Niño was enough to boost global temperatures by nearly a quarter of a degree Celsius. If that scale of warming happens again, the world could approach a 1ºC departure from pre-industrial times as early as next year. As climate scientist James Hansen has warned, that’s around the highest that temperatures have ever been since human civilization began.
Now I’m not trying to be a ‘drama queen’ but there are times when one does wonder what it will take for those who govern us to wake up to the fact that Mother Nature is getting more and more restless.
I shall return to this theme tomorrow.
Sometimes life has a way of offering a new path.
*** If you are not into introspection, then look away and come back tomorrow! ;-) ***
Regular readers will know that quite frequently I write under a topic heading that could be regarded as within the classification of key subjects of our time. You know, such subjects as big government, big money, big power, and even climate change! ;-)
Why has this been the case?
Well, because, a) most of my life I’ve tried to stay abreast of ‘current affairs’ and, b) within the broad label of ‘integrity’ it’s relevant to this blog. The sub-heading of the blog is after all: “Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.” (Yes, I do know ‘integrous’ isn’t grammatically accurate! – Any suggestions for an alternative word?)
Stay with that while I go elsewhere.
Yesterday (Tuesday) a number of events ended up having a profound effect on me. On the face of it, utterly disconnected events.
The first was a post from Alex Jones on his blog The Liberated Way. The only common ground between Alex and me is that we both know Colchester in Essex, England. Alex because he lives there today, me because I used to have a business in Colchester in previous times. Other than that just a couple of bloggers separated by thousands of miles.
Anyway, the post was this one: Cycle of Life. Alex wrote:
Life seems like a cycle of birth, living and death.
I have the honour of following awesome bloggers on WordPress. I learn inspirational teachings from their intimate life experiences that they share with their readers. The cycle, for in my belief everything moves in cycles, of birth, life and death is if we are attentive to living life something we will often be reminded of in our interactions with others and nature.
Then later, adding:
Lijiun is a Buddhist who shares daily experiences from their own life with a Buddhist theme running through their blog. Lijiun has a cat called Little White who often acts as a teacher to them about the meaning of life and a reminder of Buddhist teachings. Little White two weeks ago brought home a stray kitten, which it adopted as like a surrogate parent. Yesterday Adik the kitten died, and a beautiful blog post by Lijiun in memory of Adik reminds us life is impermanent.
Almost absent-mindedly, I clicked on the link about the death of Adik and …… was shaken to my core; shaken by the power of the truth. I want to give you more than a link to the post – want to share some of the beautiful words.
IN MEMORY OF “ADIK”…
Every moment in life is full of changes, this is a law of nature.
However, sometimes we might assume that everything unchanged.
“Adik”- Our stray kitten, so far, she was not showing a sign of sickness. Yesterday, in the evening, I discovered she was laid down under my neighbor car, not moving at all and look severe sick. We checked through her little body, no physical injuries and we tried our best to feed her water and Cat food. She refuse to take.
We need to send her to Veterinarian immediately as her condition was critical, however during Sunday, especially evening time. Most of the Veterinarian clinic is closed. We did our best to check through internet, we were able to locate one of the Vet and we rushed over.
In the journey, we played Mantra Chanting to our little kitten, We reached to the vet clinic, “Adik” was alive but in agony…. she was struggling for life. The only thing we can help was to keep chanting mantra, our only aspiration are for her to relieve from suffering, not to reborn in 3 lower realm, able to follow spiritual practice and attain enlightenment in the coming life.
“Adik” passed away in peace even before the Veterinarian came to treat her.
Then Lijiun went on to write that “This incident gave me a very clear insight on “death” and offered more of that insight: (These are extracts: Please read the full post.)
1. Impermanence Of life
Nothing is permanence , we need to live at now, not past or future.
When Death approached, no bargain time at all whether you are rich or poor, you are ready or not, you are healthy or sick, …
Do all good deeds when you are still alive, Follow spiritual path whenever you can, don’t give excuses that “I’ve plenty of time, I’ll do it when I am “FREE”? When You are Free, you might not able to do it…
2. Young or old…
Some of us, might assume that people died in old age. As such, we’ve a long journey in life.
Is It true???
I learned from “Adik” Sudden death – that death will happen in any age.
“Coffin is not meant for elderly people….” This is so profound.
Spend time with your family members, be filial piety to your parent, Pursuit your dream, Don’t wait until later day…. We are unsure we can survive until later day!
3. Breathing in & Out
Treasure every breath in & breath out…
Life is just in between Breath in & out.
Be Mindfulness in life!
4. What Can you bring???
What can you bring after death, “NOTHING”.
No matter, how much wealth, how much money, how many cars, how many bungalow, how high is your position, how lovely is your family… you can’t bring anything..
Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of life?”, “What do you want?”
You, yourself need to face the death moment…
Nobody can help you… Don’t avoid the topic and say, “It’ll not happen to me so soon”..
Just get ready.
“Adik” passed away at 8:30 pm.. according to my mom, Little White, Our lovely cat was “Meowing” loudly at home. He can sense that “Adik” was not longer around. Animals are just like us, they are loving. Please treat all beings well, no differentiation on form.
We are so touched that “Adik” came home before her death and spend her last moment with us.
Before we sent “Adik” to Vet, She “Meow” loudly to my mom as a good-bye & gratitude to my mom for taking care of her. It’s so touching!
Thank you to “Adik” for celebrating 16 happy day with us and leave behind a great lesson to us.
May “Adik” be relieved from suffering, not reborn in 3 lower realm and find the lasting happiness!
May all beings be Well and Happy!
Then also yesterday, I was chatting to someone who lives close to us; he and his partner-lady have become good friends. He was bemoaning the corruption of so much of his fine country and went on to say that the only way that he could function was to turn away from the big stuff, have no TV, ignore the constant news of this and that, the endless trials and tribulations in this world of ours. I listened in silence, only to find later that the words must have left a mark on me.
My dear friend, Dan Gomez, has known me for over 40 years. He was my Best Man at my wedding to Jean in November, 2010. He and I have been exchanging emails about the truth of the role of man in the raising of the temperature of the planet. I sent Dan the link to the death of Adik, the kitten. It seemed so much more important than the emails we had been exchanging about the ‘big’ subjects in life.
Then something happened overnight (Tuesday/Wednesday) because not long after I got to my PC this morning, I sent this email to Dan.
Yesterday was one of those days, one of those rare days I should have said, where my view of life was radically changed.
Partly because I’m still adjusting to Corinne’s death [my sister], partly because of something I read elsewhere, and other stuff best left for a phone call.
In essence, despite my anger at what is going on around us (big government, big money, big power, even climate change!) I want to retreat from these areas and focus on what is most valuable to me.
Aspects of my life such as love, friendship with ‘old’ travelers, the natural world, being in the present, community, our animals (especially Pharaoh who is over 10), my writings, my book, our small world here at 4000 Hugo; you get my drift!
I’m 70 in November, 2014. Corinne died in her 80th year. Time goes so quickly. No, life goes so quickly. Jean and I met 6 years ago this next December. I must turn away from the things over which I have little or no control and embrace the present. Just what dogs do so well. Live in the present.
It’s all about endeavouring to come to the end of one’s life hearing those immortal words of Edith Piaf, “Je regret rien.”
So dear reader of Learning from Dogs, if you are still ‘on frequency’ – Well done! You have stuck with my very long ramble!
Back to what gets written about in this place. If integrity means anything, it means I’m going to drop all the ‘big’ topics and focus entirely on what man can learn, nay, has to learn from dogs. Indeed, will close by republishing the full ‘home’ page below.
Dogs live in the present – they just are! Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value. Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years. That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!
As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer. Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming, thence the long journey to modern man. But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite. Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.
Dogs know better, much better! Time again for man to learn from dogs!
Welcome to Learning from Dogs
The amazing development of electronics over 50 years.
(A republication of a post first shown on the 13th August, 2009)
The calendar reliably informs me that this is my 65th year. My brain, of course, lags somewhat in accepting this!
My step-father during my early teenage years worked for Elliott Brothers (the link goes to an interesting history of the firm that started in 1804) in Borehamwood, just north of London. He encouraged me to fiddle with ‘steam’ radios and
try and understand how these basic circuits worked. It was then a small step to deciding to become a radio amateur, popularly known as a radio ham! In those days it was a case of some pretty intensive studying to pass a Theory exam as well as being able to pass an exam in sending and receiving Morse code.
So joining the local radio society seemed like a sensible idea. That was (and still is!) called the Radio Society of Harrow. That it is still in existence after all these years is truly delightful. Those Friday night sessions at the Society and extra-curricular classes on Sunday morning at Ron Ray’s (G2TA) house, an hour’s bicycle ride away from home, ensured that shortly after my 16th birthday I was granted a Licence, G3PUK. It was a very proud moment.
Anyway, once granted a licence it was time to build my own radio transmitter. Most of the details have been lost in the mists of time but what is recalled was that the final amplifier was a pair of 803s driving an 813 (These are radio valve numbers). It sounds like something from the ark! But again ploughing the inexhaustible files of the Web, it’s possible to see what these radio valves looked like. Thanks to the National Valve Museum.
Here are pictures, courtesy of the National Valve Museum of those two radio valves:
803 – The substantial wide glass tube envelope is 58 mm in diameter (2 1/4 in) and, excluding the special five pin base pins, is 216 mm tall (8 1/2 in).
813 The classic envelope is substantial at 60 mm diameter (2 1/3 in) and 170 mm (6 2/3 in) long excluding the special base pins. The anode is 53 mm long and 48 mm wide. The metal is 1 mm thick.
It’s difficult, today, to imagine devices which are essentially diodes (well, technically the 803 was a pentode and the 813 a tetrode) being between 6 and 8 inches tall!
My own self-build transmitter had not really been successful emitting more heat than light, so to speak. Literally, in the sense that these large radio valves kept me warm in my converted garden shed at the bottom of the garden. They also completely wiped out TV reception for those households with a 1/4 mile range that had invested in early television sets! It was time to move on to the R1155.
Around this era, less than 20 years after the end of the War in Europe in 1945, war-surplus equipment was widely available including ‘compact’ transmitter-receiver units.
One popular one was the RAF R1155 which had been fitted to RAF Lancaster bombers and RAF marine craft. It was also fitted to the Sunderland flying boat. This information plus the photos below is from this fascinating web site for those wishing to be ‘geeky’ about this.
Just compare the view on the right to the inside of your domestic radio or your cell phone.
A lot happens in 50 years!
My personal journey now leaps to 1978 and I have just left IBM UK having had 8 fabulous years with them as an Office Products salesman. My fledging company, Dataview Ltd, has just become the 8th Commodore Computer (CBM) dealer in the UK, based in a small office in Colchester, Essex, about 50 miles north-east of London.
The CBM PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) released in 1977 initially with a calculator type keyboard was useless for any business application but soon came out with a typewriter sized keyboard, making it a more viable business
machine. Today, as this is typed on an ‘old’ laptop with 2GB RAM, it seems unbelievable that these CBMs were sold with between 4k and 96k of RAM (memory) and no hard disk, although one could purchase an add-on that comprised dual 5 1/2 inch floppy disk drives.
YouTube obligingly finds a short video on the Commodore PET for those really wishing to enjoy the nostalgia!
So to turn to the 21st century and to run out of understanding. We appear to live in a world of multi-later printed circuit boards of unimaginable (to me) component density, assuming that the word ‘component’ is even relevant today.
What an amazing period it has been!
Now let me see was it Pin 920 to Pin 140, or Pin14 to Pin 860 connected to Pin 56 ………?