October 26th, 2008

Kill your modem?

In 1978 I got rid of my TV set; just as cable TV, public access and all was the rage. I’ve never regretted it. I’ve never watched an episode of Murphy Brown, Bill Cosby, Friends, The West Wing, Mad Men or a canned History Channel piece [it's a living ehh Pukeface?], only a few baseball games with friends at an Irish bar in Brooklyn. I have read more than I would have if I had been watching TV. I am beginning to think that The Internet is quickly becoming nothing more than what TV was in the 1970′s, a time waster – so maybe it’s time to pull the plug? Just thinking out loud.

October 26th, 2008

Take a hard look back to the 60′s and the 30′s

Suck it up all you “liberals.” I’m sick and tired of hearing about how Barak Obama might turn out to be something other than the corporate hack he is. After all, we went through the same game of “hope” with Democrat Bill Clinton who set the stage for Bush-the-Lesser. Obama flopped on FISA – no small potatoes when I think about my civil rights going down the drain with that vote – made even more ominous considering that Obama pleged to oppose FISA and Telcom immunity when he was running in the primaries; no doubt a taste of things to come. Obama voted for the so called “bank bailout,” an ill concieved plan devoid of regulation and more than a little bit friendly (no strings attached) to the investment houses that “dorked up” big time ($700-billion+ friendly). And what was Obama’s position on Palestine, Israel and the “2-state solution” before he ran for President (hint – another flip-flop)? The NEW DEAL “happened” because of pressure from folks who thought that labor was more important than capital. Obama has been bought and paid for by “capital interests.” If he wins, I suspect the only way to put working men and women on a level playing field with the capitalists will be to “out” Obama. That’s what it took with FDR – he didn’t come up with the “New Deal” because he was a visionary – FDR was worried about the power of the people. Now-a-days, I fear, things could really get ugly because, I would posit, legislation passed, by OUR representatives, and signed into law by Bush, since 911 will brand almost any activity that opposes the power of the Federal Government and in many cases “private capital interests” a “terrorist action.” Good luck to us all.

October 26th, 2008

The compassion

Daniel Goleman did a talk in 2007 on TED on compassion and empathy, and in it, he described an experiment that was done earlier. Students were given a bible text with the assignment to prepare and do a sermon about that bible text. One half of the students were given the “good Samaritan” text, the others a random bible text. As they walked to another building for them to actually do their sermon, they passed a man sitting on the ground, moaning, clearly in need, and the question was of course, would they help, and would the musing on the good Samaritan text made more students help the stranger or not.

It turned out there was no difference at all, and that in fact the determining factor to help or not turned out to be how much of a hurry the student in case felt, how much absorbed in what (s)he was going to do. Not only that, but he also postulates that we, as humans are wired by default to empathise and help, feeling ourselves the suffering we see others having and feeling the need to relieve the others.

That is quite an interesting finding, as in a way it tells us the way we stress ourselves, more, faster, bigger, we are suppressing our empathy, our ability for compassion and help.