Tag: Twitter

Loving our dogs beyond everything else.

Stories like this one today are so incredibly inspiring!

The following article was published by Mother Nature Network the last day of July.

But it’s not just about saving the life of a dog! Do see my note at the end re The Dodo Twitter feed.

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Hero hiker says angels and laughter helped her carry hurt dog down mountain to safety

MARY JO DILONARDO July 31st, 2018

When Vargas’s dad saw her carrying a dog, he laughed and said, ‘Isn’t this hike hard enough?’ (Photo: Ted Kasper)

Every year, Tia Vargas and her dad go hiking; this summer’s trip was up Table Rock in the Grand Tetons in early July. Vargas was just below the 11,000-foot peak with her dad waiting about a mile down the trail when she ran into a distraught family of hikers who had found an injured English springer spaniel.

They couldn’t find the limping pup’s owner and, because the family had kids in tow, Vargas figured it would be easier for her to carry the pup to safety.

“I had to crawl under him to get him up on my shoulders,” Vargas, a single mother of three from Idaho Falls, Idaho, tells MNN. “I felt the difficulty of it right away. I never felt 55 pounds like that before.”

Vargas soon ran into her dad, Ted Kasper, who snapped some photos when he saw his daughter coming down the trail with a dog on her shoulders.

Vargas was hoping to run into other people on the trail, but she had to carry Boomer by herself. (Photo: Ted Kasper)

“Dad laughed and said, ‘Isn’t this hike hard enough? You have to carry a dog too?'” Vargas recalls. “My dad makes me laugh. He is such a great man.”

That sense of humor helped Vargas get through the ordeal of carrying the heavy dog down the steep trail, she says. The trek was hard and nearly unbearable at times.

“Every time I put him down so I could rest it was difficult. And every time I got down on my knees to put my head under his belly and try to use neck and body strength to lift him it was painful and difficult. I thought we would see people on the trail on the way down to help. But that wasn’t the case,” she says.

Vargas takes a break from carrying the 55-pound pup. (Photo: Ted Kasper)

The trio got lost twice because of snow and fallen trees that made the trail disappear. “I even lost my dad once and that made me feel very alone in this,” Vargas says. “He was a big comfort to me.”

At one point, Kasper offered to run down the trail and try to find help, but Vargas didn’t want to be left alone. About halfway down the trail, Vargas thought she might not be able to continue. At the time, they were lost and it had started to rain.

“The thought of stopping crossed my mind once. My legs hurt and were shaking,” she says. “When I wanted to quit is when I prayed. Prayer gave me the strength. That and my dad’s jokes. He made me laugh and it gave me energy. And feeling the angels lift the dog off of my neck was what I needed to continue on.”

Lost dog named Boomer

Boomer is in a cast from his 100-foot fall, but vets are hopeful it will heal without surgery. (Photo: Tia Vargas)

Finally hiking six miles and reaching the bottom of the trail, Vargas found a very small note that said, “Lost dog named Boomer, call this number.”

She called the owners, who thought for sure Boomer was dead. They had gone hiking together the day before and Boomer had fallen off a 100-foot cliff and rolled 200 feet. When the family rushed down to find him, he was gone. They looked for him until dark, so Boomer had spent one night out there, alone and injured.

“I was so excited to tell them their dog was very much alive,” Vargas says. “Dad and I couldn’t wait to hear their reaction.”

It turns out that the family loved Boomer very much, but they were moving to Arizona and couldn’t take him with them. They already had a family lined up to adopt him, but when they heard Vargas’s incredible story, the new adopters reluctantly let her adopt him instead.

‘One of my kids now’

Boomer is now part of the Vargas family. (Photo: Tia Vargas)

A trip to the vet found that Boomer was very fortunate: he had mostly bumps, bruises and scratches from his big fall, as well as a dislocated joint with torn ligaments in his leg. Boomer is in a cast now while his new family waits to see whether the joint will hopefully heal on its own without surgery.

Vargas says the 4-year-old pup loves to do tricks and have his belly rubbed. He loves to explore and smell everything and always wants to put his head in her lap. Vargas, who is a substitute teacher, Zumba instructor and sells jewelry, has started a Facebook page for Boomer because so many people are now following his story.

“He is 100 percent part of the family. His personality is perfect with mine and the kids. We all love him so much,” Vargas says. “They begged me for a dog and I was worried because it’s a lot of time and work. I told them no for so long. And I told them if we get a dog it would have to be dropped in my lap and already trained. And he is both of those and so much more. He feels like one of my kids now.”

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Isn’t that just the most wonderful story!

Now I must publicly thank John Zande; he of The Superstitious Naked Ape blog site. For the other day John mentioned a ‘thread’ on Twitter under the title of The Dodo. If I mention that The Dodo has over 1 million followers you will get the idea that it offers some very compelling ‘Tweets’. You bet!

Try this:

Or this:

There are too many humans in this world who are motivated by money, by power and by greed.

Thank goodness there are many others who are motivated by their love for animals!

Overload and rescue!

Starting to look like a bit of a theme!

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of posts touching on the role of meditation and the huge potential benefits of taking a little time out each day.  For those new to Learning from Dogs or to this particular thread, here are links to previous posts.

On the 19th June, there was a post called Maybe home is found in our quietness. In that post there were three references to the power of meditation, that is in a curative sense.  Here’s a small extract from that post:

A few weeks ago when meeting our local doctor for the first time since we moved to Oregon, I had grumbled about bouts of terrible short-term memory recall and more or less had shrugged my shoulders in resignation that there was nothing one could do: it was just part of getting older, I guessed!

“On the contrary”, responded Dr. Hurd, continuing, “There’s growing evidence that our information-crowded lives: cell phones; email; constant TV; constant news, is pumping too much for our brains to manage.”

Dr. Hurd continued, “Think about it! Our brains have to process every single sensory stimulus. The research is suggesting that our brains are being over-loaded and then the brain just dumps the excess data. If that is the case, and the evidence is pointing in that direction, then try thirty minutes of meditation each day; give your brain a chance to rest.”

Just hang on to what Dr. Hurd said, “There’s growing evidence that our information-crowded lives: cell phones; email; constant TV; constant news, is pumping too much for our brains to manage.

The second post was on the 25th June,  Unlocking the inner parts of our brain.  It included this:

The second was a recent science programme on the BBC under the Horizon series. The programme was called,The Truth About Personality.

…….

Within the programme came the astounding fact that even ten minutes a day meditation can help the brain achieve a more balanced personality (balance in terms of not being overly negative in one’s thoughts).

You will not have failed to note, “even ten minutes a day meditation can help the brain achieve a more balanced personality“.

So let me move on!

Not sure how I came across the website Natural health news but on July 03, 2013, Zach Miller wrote a piece under the title of Information Fatigue Syndrome (IFS): What it is and how it affects you.  I’m hoping it’s OK to republished Zach Miller’s article.  Because it so perfectly supports those referred posts.

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Information Fatigue Syndrome (IFS): What it is and how it affects you

Wednesday, July 03, 2013 by: Zach C. Miller

(NaturalNews) These days, we’re living in an increasingly connected, electronic world. Every day we use the internet, computers, cell phones, Blackberries, and Bluetooth devices. We read newspapers, watch TV and listen to internet radio (and even read ads on billboards as we drive down the freeway). While all our media and technology is convenient and useful (we’re always just an internet search away from the answer to any question that pops into our heads, especially if our cellular phone has mobile internet), being connected so much results in something called “Information Overload”, a term coined by futurist Alvin Toffler back in 1970. The term refers to our inability to absorb and process all the information we’re exposed to, and this information is literally everywhere these days.

The problem defined

Information Overload, or “Information Fatigue Syndrome (IFS),” occurs when we over-expose ourselves to media, technology and information. Our brains have trouble keeping up with everything that we are feeding them, and the distorted-spin EMF energy fields we’re being exposed to don’t help the case (generated by cell phones and wi-fi). We end up having headaches and being exhausted and end up making mistakes and wrong decisions. The main point is, when exposed to too much information and technology, we tend to shut down.

Causes

Information Overload is now commonplace around the world, at work, at home and during leisure time. Some of the causes include:

– Widespread and easy access to the Internet

– Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter

– Cheap and accessible use of cell phones, texting, and mobile internet

– Online and offline news, media, and advertising: TV, newspapers, magazines, and billboards

Simple solutions

The only upside to these problems is that they have a relatively simple solution; take a day off occasionally from being connected to any media and the internet, and set limits on your internet in terms of hours per day. These restrictions may sound scary for us web-addicted techno-humans, but it’s absolutely imperative if we want to regain control of our energy levels, mental health, and life in general in an increasingly information-infused modern era.

Take a full day off from all media and electronic devices (including cell phones; this may be nearly impossible for some), and go out into nature and pursue outdoor interests. If you feel better, which you likely will, take a day off occasionally whenever you need one. If you’d rather a set schedule, take one day per week and set it aside as a internet-free day. If this is too often, make it bi-monthly. Pick a schedule that fits in with work or school. A key point being that even good things need to be used in moderation, including useful techo-goodies as the internet, Facebook, and Twitter updates.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.wnd.com

http://www.infogineering.net/understanding-information-overload.htm

http://psychcentral.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_field

About the author:
Zach C. Miller was raised from an early age to believe in the power and value of healthy-conscious living. He later found in himself a talent for writing, and it only made sense to put two & two together! He has written and published articles about health & wellness and other topics on ehow.com and here on NaturalNews. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science.

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The problem, I’m sure, is that the vast majority of readers of this post will give a sage nod because they intuitively  agree and …… do nothing about it!  Trust me, I’m just as guilty.  My short-term memory is really crap and it feeds my worry that this may be early stage dementia. (My sister’s recent death from dementia doesn’t help!)

So even though my doctor spoke about the benefits of meditation, even though there have been other articles recently posted on this blog, even though I would, supposedly, do anything to arrest or reverse my memory problems, guess what; I’m pathetic!  Kept up taking 30 minutes away from everything for a week and then the good intentions crumbled.

If this verbal slap across my wrists is resonating out there, dear reader, then that’s good.  Because, I am going to try harder!  From today!

So how to close this! Obviously with more advice about meditating! None better than from Leo Babauta over on Zen Habits.  It’s called How to Meditate Daily.  Starts thus:

The habit of meditation is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever learned.

Amazingly, it’s also one of the most simple habits to do — you can do it anywhere, any time, and it will always have immediate benefits.

How many habits can you say that about?

While many people think of meditation as something you might do with a teacher, in a Zen Center, it can be as simple as paying attention to your breath while sitting in your car or on the train, or while sitting at the coffee shop or in your office, or while walking or showering.

It can take just one or two minutes if you’re busy. There’s no excuse for not doing it, when you simplify the meditation habit.

So, go on, take a couple of minutes to read the rest of the article!

And then realise there’s yet another wonderful lesson we learn from dogs – chilling out!

Cleo and Sweeny - just chilling out!
Sweeny and Cleo – just chilling out!

End Fossil Fuel Subsidies NOW!

It’s rare for me to post a second item on the same day but this warrants it!

The full copy of this recently issued Press Release now available on the End Fossil Fuels Subsidies website is republished in full below.

PASS IT ON!

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PRESS RELEASES

MIDDAY TWITTERSTORM REPORT
June 18, 2012

Call to #EndFossilFuelSubsidies at Rio+20 Tops Twitter

EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, celebrities Mark Ruffalo,
Stephen Fry, and Robert Redford, journalist Nicholas Kristof, and more join global push

RIO DE JANEIRO — The push to end fossil fuel subsidies at Rio+20 became the #2 most talked about topic worldwide on Twitter this morning.

The social networking site, which has 100 million active users, tracks discussions by hashtag and #endfossilfuelsubsidies ranked #2 globally and #2 in United States and Australia. 350.org, the global climate campaign coordinating the effort, estimated that the hashtag was being tweeted at least once a second, reaching millions of people around the world.

A number of politicians, journalists, celebrities, and high-profile activists joined in the campaign, helping catapult it into the spotlight:

British actor Stephen Fry tweeted, “Let’s green $1 trillion with a plan to save the planet. Sign the petition & RT: http://j.mp/endFFS #endfossilfuelsubsidies #G20 #RioPlus20.”

American actor Mark Ruffalo, who recently played the Hulk in the box-office sensation The Avengers, tweeted, “Good Morn! Can you help us end fossil fuel subsidies? Pls tweet #endfossilfuelsubsidies TODAY to help us send a msg & spread the word.!!!”

The EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, who is expected to play a key role at the Rio+20 negotiations,tweeted, “Fossil fuels subsidies have no place in today’s world . They must be phased out as the G20 pledged. #EndFossilFuelSubsidies #Rioplus20.”

Journalist and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted, “A twitterstorm underway calling on leaders to #EndFossilFuelSubsidies at Rio summit: http://yfrog.com/1qamv1j.”

350.org founder Bill McKibben tweeted, “$1 trilllion is a lot of money–tired of the fossil fuel industry laughing at us, so joining the twitterstorm #endfossilfuelsubsidies.”

Activists with 350.org are projecting tweets in cities around the world, including Sydney, London, New Delhi, and New York, as well as inside the Rio+20 negotations.

Yesterday, 350.org and Avaaz unfurled a giant $1 trillion bill on the Copacabana beach in Rio, producing some spectacular photos. The global campaign Avaaz.org is delivering a petition with 750,000 signatures calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies to G20 leaders in Los Cabos, Mexico this afternoon. Over a million people have signed different petitions calling for action on subsidies in the last two weeks.

The current draft of the Rio+20 agreement released on Saturday includes a paragraph on ending fossil fuel subsidies, but negotiations now hang in the balance as oil exporting countries led by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela attempt to delete any references to the proposal. The final decision is likely to come down to Brazil, who hold sway as the host country.

The Twitterstorm can be tracked at endfossilfuelsubsidies.org. Supporting organizations for endfossilfuelsubsidies.org include: 350.org, Avaaz, Climate Reality Project, Earth Day Network, Friends of the Earth International, Global Exchange, Green For All, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace New Zealand, Natural Resource Defense Council, Oil Change International, Quercus, SumOfUs, Wild Aid, WWF

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CONTACT: In the US, Daniel Kessler, dk@350.org, +1 510-501-1779; In Rio, Jamie Henn, jamie@350.org, +55(0)2181061948

NOTE TO EDITORS:

1. Information on the $1 Trillion in fossil fuel subsidies: http://priceofoil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1TFSFIN.pdf

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PRESS ADVISORY/PHOTO CALL

‘Twitterstorm’ gathers speed before Monday’s Global Cyberaction to #EndFossilFuelSubsidies at Rio+20

RIO, 15 June 2012 — Momentum is building for this Monday’s 24-hour “Twitterstorm,” a massive international online action to increase pressure on world leaders to cut nearly $1 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies at the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit.

For 24 hours between June 18th and 19th, as world leaders gather at the G20 summit and prepare for Rio+20, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will tweet with the same hashtag — #EndFossilFuelSubsidies — at celebrities and politicians, flooding the popular social network with their demand. Over 1 million people have already signed a petition calling on leaders to act.

Recent developments on the Twitterstorm include:

• Confirmation of tweet projections in Sydney, London, New Dehli, and Rio (see Notes section for times and locations) (1)
• A new website with fact sheets, a tool to tweet at celebrities and Heads of State, and more resources for activists: http://www.endfossilfuelsubsidies.org
• A new Facebook event that has registered over two thousand “Tweet Team” members to recruit participants for the day of action. (2)
• Support from over a dozen civil society groups, including 350.org, Greenpeace International, Oil Change International and WWF. (3)

WHAT: A 24-hour Twitterstorm to #EndFossilFuelSubsidies at Rio+20

WHEN: The 24-hour clock will begin at 8:00 UTC (6 PM local time in Sydney) when activists will flock to Twitter with messages that will be projected in iconic locations in Sydney, New Delhi, London, and Rio. In recent weeks campaigning groups have collected over 1 million signatures demanding that leaders act now.

WHY: According to figures compiled by Oil Change International, countries are spending as much as $1 trillion USD combined annually on fossil fuel subsidies. (4) The International Energy Agency estimates that by cutting these subsidies, the world can cut global warming causing emissions in half and significantly contribute to preventing a 2 degree temperature rise, the limit most scientists say we need to stay under to prevent runaway climate change. (5)

In May, leaders of the G20 again pledged to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. They first made the commitment in 2009 but have yet to implement the policy change at the country level.

While global warming emissions rise and gas prices spike, fossil fuel companies continue to make massive profits, which brings into doubt the need for subsidies. ExxonMobil, for example, made $41.1 billion USD in profit in 2011.

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CONTACT: In the US, Daniel Kessler, 350.org, dk@350.org, +1 510-501-1779; In Rio, Jamie Henn, jamie@350.org, +55(0)2181061948

NOTE TO EDITORS:

1. June 18 projection events

• Sydney
◦ Summary: Sydney will launch the Twitter Storm from the Sydney Opera House.  Local supporters are invited to send a photo or video message to world leaders with the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.  Projection of the Twitter feed will continue late at night around Sydney’s CBD.
◦ 6 PM (UTC+10) Sydney Opera House Boardwalks
◦ 9 PM (UTC+10) Sydney CBD
◦ CONTACT: Abi Jamines abigail@350.org, +61 403278621

• New Delhi
◦ Summary: There will be two projections in New Delhi.
◦ Projection 1: 6 PM – 9 PM, Moonlighting, An indoor projection while the Twitter feed is projected to an invited audience along with a speaker to discuss the issue of fossil fuel subsidies in the Indian context. (Will share speaker details soon, yet to be confirmed).
◦ Projection 2: 6PM – 11 PM An outdoor projection at a local mall called DLF Saket.
◦ CONTACT: Chaitanya Kumar, chaitanya@350.org, +91-9849016371

• London
◦ Summary: There will be 3 events in London–a petition delivery at 10 Downing Street in the morning, followed by two projections.
◦ Petition delivery: 10:30am GMT+1, Number 10 Downing Street, London.
◦ Projection 1: 1:30pm GMT+1, Houses of Parliament, London
◦ Projection 2: Approximately midnight GMT+1 (Tuesday 19th June), Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square, London
◦ CONTACT: Emma Biermann, emma@350.org, +44 (0) 78 3500 4720,

• Rio
◦ Summary: Tweets will be displayed in the Rio Centro conference center all day.
◦ CONTACT: Jamie Henn, jamie@350.org, +55(0)2181061948

2.  https://www.facebook.com/events/304496622975461/

3. Supporting organizations include: 350.org, Avaaz, Climate Reality Project, Earth Day Network, Friends of the Earth International, Global Exchange, Green For All, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Australia, and Greenpeace New Zealand, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resource Defense Council, Oil Change International, Oxfam, Quercus, SumOfUs, Wild Aid, World Wildlife Fund

4. http://priceofoil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1TFSFIN.pdf

5. http://www.iea.org/files/energy_subsidies_slides.pdf

##

‘Twitter Storm’ Planned to Pressure Leaders to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies at Rio+20

Environmental conference ideal place to end wasteful giveaways to corporate polluters, says civil society groups

Oakland, 7 June 2012 — Campaigning organizations from around the world will join forces on June 18 for a 24-hour ‘Twitter storm’ in which tens of thousands of messages will be posted on the social networking site demanding that world leaders use Rio+20 to agree to end fossil fuel subsidies.

The 24 hour clock will start at 6PM local time in Sydney (8AM UTC), when activists will begin to flock to Twitter with messages that will also be projected in iconic spots in Sydney, New Delhi, London, Rio, and other locations. In recent weeks campaigning groups have collected over 1 million signatures demanding that leaders act now to end subsidies and start to invest in clean energy solutions. (1)

According to figures compiled by Oil Change International, countries together are spending as much as $1 trillion dollars annually on fossil fuel subsidies. (2) The International Energy Agency estimates that by cutting these subsidies, the world can cut global warming causing emissions in half and significantly contribute to preventing a 2 degree temperature rise, the number most scientists say we need to stay under to prevent runaway climate change. (3)

“We are giving twelve times as much in subsidies to fossil fuels as we are providing to clean energy, like wind and solar. World leaders shouldn’t be subsidizing the destruction of our planet, especially since these subsidies are cooking our planet,” said Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In May, leaders of the G20 again pledged to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. They first made the commitment in 2009 but have yet to implement the policy change at the country level.

While global warming emissions rise and gas prices spike, fossil fuel companies continue to make massive profits, which brings into doubt the need for subsidies. ExxonMobil, for example, paid an effective US federal tax rate in 2010 of 17.2 percent, while the average American paid 28 percent.

Participating organizations include 350.org, Avaaz, Greenpeace. Oil Change International, Natural Resources Defense Council, and others.

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CONTACT: In the US, Daniel Kessler, 350.org, +1 510 501 1779, daniel@350.org

NOTE TO EDITORS:

1.http://endfossilfuelsubsidies.org/

2. http://priceofoil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1TFSFIN.pdf

3. http://www.iea.org/files/energy_subsidies_slides.pdf

Just a reflection on nearly 900 posts!!

Prompted by a recent comment from a reader.

This Blog started on July 15th, 2009.  At first there were a group of authors all committed to the vision but for various reasons they all were unable to maintain the very real challenges of writing a daily article and they amended the relationship to that of occasional guest author. My fellow founding author, Jon Lavin, has just completed a very demanding Master’s Degree which, for very valid reasons, has kept his nose to a different grinding wheel for the last 3 years.  My greatest wish is that Jon can return to writing for this Blog simply because the original idea about dogs having much to teach us came from Jon.

The vision of why so many hours are spent managing and writing on Learning from Dogs is encapsulated here.  One of the ideas expressed there is, “Our children require a world that understands the importance of faith, integrity and honesty“.  This aspect has become more and more important in my mind.  Within less than a month of this Post, I will have my first grandchild (the gender is a closely guarded secret!)  When I look at some of the scenarios that could face that grandchild over the next four decades, it’s easy to feel pretty nervous. So being able to use the power of this electronically connected world to ramble on is my way to trying to do something!

This is leading me to the point of this Post.  If it wasn’t for the growing number of readers, now several hundred a day, and the graciousness of those readers to find the time to comment, I think this Blog would have rolled over and gone back to sleep in front of the fire as Pharaoh is wont to do!

The comments have been fabulous and even selecting a couple seems unfair on the rest.  But nonetheless that is what this article is going to include.

Just a few days ago, there was an article about the internet and control.  Dogkisses wrote:

I feel quite positive about technology, including the Internet, but I also wish we could keep things like public libraries and continue to learn skills such as handwriting.

My nephew, an A student in college, recently had to take a handwriting course. My sis was embarrassed ’til she arrived finding many Mothers she knew there for the same reason. Many college students didn’t know how to write.

I volunteered once at a “Center for Independent Living.” One of the main services they offered was free Internet access to people with disabilities. I have since learned how important this is for people who are either bed-ridden or as with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, stay home much of the time. It is a connection to the world. People can have a sense of community. This is a good thing.

I also love how quickly I can learn little things, such as words and how that might take me somewhere else to learn about something different. Pretty cool.

Maybe some people who have control in certain arenas are afraid that The People who are being controlled will, via the Internet, be heard and all too clearly.

Then last Friday, another reader, Steven Law, added an insightful comment to a Guest Post written by Patrice Ayme last December 10th., the Essence of the Civilizational Crisis, a very profound piece.  This is what Steven wrote:

“To create public money, the money everybody uses (be it cash, electronic transfers, swaps, whatever) we use a private system, with proprietary money creating devices inside (say subprime, or derivatives). Civilization has never worked this way before, as the state previously was careful to stay the one and only money creator.”
What Patrice ignores here is that the State “creates” nothing. And I do not support “private” monopoly of money either.What I would like to entertain is the ability for a true free market (one in which we do not have) to explore competitive money, and yes, privately issued by competing banks. But that these banks would not operate on fractional reserve. They would largely operate their monies on a commodities basket reserve system. Not just precious metals, but multiple commodities as well.
At any rate you can learn more on this by reading F.A. Hayek’s “Good Money”pts. 1 & 2. Also I recommend spending some time at The Von Mises Institute online, great insights and education from an Austrian perspective on these matters.

I like your post, but find a few flaws in the argument. My main point here is that civilization has failed throughout history to keep the State under control and not allow state controlled money monopoly. Fiat currencies have failed miserably throughout history and are doing so again. We have some serious learning lessons coming our way…again.

Just want to expand on what I said about the State not creating anything. How can they create when the monies the receive are largely from coercion as well as monopoly? Therefore any “creation” by the State is at the expense of industry and freedom. Hence the need for a limited government.
I also recommend watching “Corporation Nation” on youtube. It’s pretty long and supports with verifiable evidence the depths our government has reached into fascism.

So there we are! Writing this Blog is a labour of love and having both readers and readers willing to comment keeps the love affair going!  Thank you all, every one of you.

Finally, Steven mentions that YouTube video Corporation Nation.  The whole series of videos is long but if you fancy starting in at the beginning, here it is.

The learning curve.

A guest post from Dr John W Lewis.  John and I have known each other for some years now, both of us sharing a group aircraft that was based in Exeter, SW England.  His areas of interest and competence are described here.  But these days when John and I chat about the world in general and nothing in particular we often come back to the topic of innovation.  So bear that in mind as John muses on the rather gloomy nature of a recent post on Learning from Dogs.

John writes:

John Lewis

Having read the recent Post, Group Human Insanity, my first instinct is that I have nothing particular worthwhile to say that has not been said before.  But, of course, the time to apply minds is exactly when the answers don’t readily come to mind, so I will continue!

In a way, it’s probably a case of applying the sentiment on the old wartime poster, “Keep calm and carry on!” or as Winston Churchill said, “I’f you’re going through hell, keep going!”.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to change, because we do. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to put a lot more effort into things that matter, because we do. But, as has been said before, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backwards”. In other words, “it is very difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”.

Reading about this kind of thing in books, such as  “Freakonomics” or “Drive” or “Switch” suggests that we don’t really understand the mechanism by which behavioural changes happen in populations, although some of the discoveries of Everett Rogers about the diffusion of innovations is relevant here. To refer to another book, there is probably going to be a lot of “Who moved my cheese?” hemming and hawing behaviour going on too.

All we really know is that when the environment (in the most general sense) is changing rapidly, populations are much better off if they are diverse in their characteristics and behaviour; also I believe (but am not sure) that it’s true to say that increased communication assists populations in adapting to changes in the environment.

So the most important thing to do is to let lots of different people do lots of different things in search of ways forward.  If you like, we need to split up (within the multidimensional behavioural space in which we operate) into smaller groups to dodge the big boulders.

We need to communicate lots of information and lots of ways of interpreting and verifying not only the information itself, but also the operational implications of that information (which may be very different things). Hopefully this will reduce (but it will never eliminate) instances of mass movements (as in stampedes) based on partial information which misdirect substantial resources into activities that turn out to be dead ends.

If we don’t believe that there are any viable ways forward, then we might as well give up and just enjoy what’s left of the good times!

But if there are ways forward, then the way to find them is to have lots of people scouting ahead on lots of fronts and passing information around so that we maximise the chances of finding those ways forward, and having lots of other people striving to find ways to make use of that information and testing out those ways forward.

Whether this is all obvious, or not, I don’t know; but it probably is. One thing we do know is that telling people what to do is emphatically not going to work! Just look at some of the stories on the Breaking The Mould website.

Instead, we are better off when people are asking questions, gathering information and passing it around. I believe that if these behaviours are adopted in a population, as a result of ‘external’ pressures building up, then changes and innovations will inevitably occur, and this is about the best that we can do! Fortunately, I think that is what tends to happen anyway.

So, in a sense, as I referred to above: “Keep calm and carry on”  (By the way, a Google search on that phrase unearths a variety of interesting stuff and variations such as “Get excited and make stuff”)

Regards,
John

Dr John W Lewis
holosoft

Email: john.lewis@holosoft.com
Skype: john_w_lewis
Twitter: @JohnWLewis

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Social communication is with us

Hallo – are you there?
The technology of communication devices, systems, services has changed hugely over the years. There have been lamps, telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and a variety of others (I suppose we should also include smoke signals!).
A replical of a Morse code transmitter of 1844
The characteristics of each technology have dictated the behavioural model of the systems and the services available to users.
With the advent of the Internet, systems have tended to emulate traditional models: bulletin boards, post (email), with the web (world wide that is!) being based on a well-known “request-response” model until relatively recently.
But, now,  the gloves are coming off! People are building software-based communication services to provide whatever behavioural model they choose; consider, for example, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed and there will be many, many more.
So far, their matching of the models to any specific requirements has been very loose. They build something and then figure out what people use it for!
There is an opportunity to get serious now: to decide whatever experience we want users to have; to design it and build it. Then to iterate models based on live tracking of actual scenarios. This is potentially very big … and keep half an eye on “augmented reality”.

By John Lewis