As of March 2010, Google is no longer supporting FTP publishing of it's Blogger blogs. Therefore I will be consolidating all of my blogs into a single front page format that I will be experimenting with and changing from time to time until I find something I like.
An Incredible Work of Art . . . freely given! This is an amazing video of Ethan Winer playing all 37 separate cello parts in a piece he composed. He even plays the percussion parts on his cello. It was recorded on 23 tracks using 37 plug-in effects. Winer spent hundreds of hours to create this work, which is now freely given to all who have access to the Internet. It is human spirit like this that gives me hope for the future of our species.
Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.
-- William S. Burroughs
Unfortunately, for me, he spoils this thought by referring to war. I'd prefer something like: . . . those who seek happiness for itself seek peace without compromise.
posted by Lorenzo 2:14 PM
Bolivia's War On Globalization (Living on Earth, July 21, 2006 interview with William Powers) I want to just stress one thing, that we need to get over our obsession with Morales as a threat, and Bolivia as a threat to our way of life, which you see so much of in the main stream media. If anything it's an opportunity. It's an opportunity to engage a new kind of a vision that can benefit Bolivians and reduce the inequality and create more stability. So, it's just a question of being open-minded and viewing Morales in a new way. . . . Bolivia actually, in my view, challenges the myths that third world countries are too poor to be green. Here's a country that's full of superlatives. They've got the world's first debt for nature swap, the world's largest protected dry tropical forest, the world's largest forest-based Kyoto experiments. This is a country that has leaders, environmental entrepreneurs, Bolivians, who fight for their areas. And it's kind of a beautiful thing to be a part of that. And I think now with this Morales government there's a lot of hope that Bolivia could pursue an agenda that continues to be even more green, and especially around ecological tourism. The country has vast and beautiful areas. So, there's more and more tourists coming, especially now that they know there is a democratic government. And there's hopefully going to be more stability. And I think there is a lot more interest in Bolivia now, which will continue to grow. . . . Well, that's a beautiful story that Salvador told to me in a jeep, on a 24-hour jeep ride. And there's a tree, according to the mythology of the people in that area, that holds up the world. And it holds up the Amazon's seven skies. And each of the seven skies has a world similar to ours with pampas and waterfalls, and burochi wolves and all kinds of creatures. And you don't want to cut down just any tree in the forest because it may be the tree that holds up everything and the seven skies could come crashing down on our heads. So, the Indians in that area ask permission of the spirit owner, or Amo, of the particular tree before cutting it down. So, it's a rich, a rich and fertile cosmology. . . . to them nature is not something that can be abstracted or taken out of us and sliced and diced. It's a concept that's completely integral to them. So there was no word for that, no sort of term. The closest term may have been 'the shimmering forest.' And I think that says a lot about the way they view the world. . . . William Power's new book is called Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization.
posted by Lorenzo 3:42 AM
Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth's capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet's resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population? Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth?
[NOTE by Lorenzo: Please take the time to read this entire essay (click link above), which is an overview of David C. Korten's new book, The Great Turning. I believe you will find it well worth the time. Here are some of the issues covered:
MAIN TOPICS: A defining choice "We face a defining choice between two contrasting models for organizing human affairs."
A turn from life "The wisdom of the elder and the priestess gave way to the arbitrary rule of the powerful, often ruthless, king."
Paying the price "It is axiomatic: for a few to be on top, many must be on the bottom."
Troubling truths "Unfortunately, we cannot look to imperial powerholders to lead the way."
Beyond denial "Within the frame of historical reality, it is perfectly clear: they are playing out the endgame of Empire, seeking to consolidate power through increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic policies."
Global awakening "Perhaps Empireís greatest tragedy is that its cultures and institutions systematically suppress our progress to the higher orders of consciousness."
Break the silence, end the isolation, change the story "To change the human future, we must change our defining stories."
Story power "Changing the prevailing stories in the United States may be easier to accomplish than we might think. . . . Our nation is on the wrong course not because Americans have the wrong values. It is on the wrong course because of remnant imperial institutions that give unaccountable power to a small alliance of right-wing extremists who call themselves conservative and claim to support family and community values, but whose preferred economic and social policies constitute a ruthless war against children, families, communities, and the environment. . . . In these turbulent and often frightening times, it is important to remind ourselves that we are privileged to live at the most exciting moment in the whole of the human experience. We have the opportunity to turn away from Empire and to embrace Earth Community as a conscious collective choice. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
posted by Lorenzo 5:13 PM
Fearless Planet - a great way to help Fearless Planet is a non-profit organization established in 2004 with the aim of assisting people, primarily women, to develop and market unique products in order to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. We help to identify both potential products and their markets, building upon local skills and traditional crafts.
The revenues produced from the sale of Fearless Planet merchandise is used for community development programs, including low-interest business loans for women, literacy classes, library materials, and computer training for women, children and at-risk youth, among other programs.
Fearless Planet is built on the belief that by bringing together the necessary skills and resources to produce marketable products, a partnership can be achieved which benefits not only the producers and the consumers, but also entire communities and ultimately the whole world.
We work in partnership with other organizations, companies and individuals to provide skill training, including production skills, business education and financial management. Fearless Planet will partner with people in any part of the world where the organizationís skills can be utilized.
Fearless Planet is committed to creating a world in which people have productive outlets for sharing their abilities and supporting others in their goals. We are working toward creating a world where there is enough for everyone, and we are having fun as we do it!
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: If you click the link above and go to their Products section you will find some really cool items, including unique laptop bags. And if you buy something from their site you will be helping some people who really can use our assistance.]
posted by Lorenzo 10:04 AM
Global Brain Waves All we do know is that things are moving faster and faster and faster. Which is an absolutely natural part of evolution. Simple cells, bacteria, took a couple of billion years to evolve, the first half of Earth's history is just simple cells. And then much more complex organisms evolved much faster, mammals, we're just talking about fifty million years or so, human beings have been around just a million years or so. Society is just a few thousand years old, the Industrial Revolution a couple of hundred years ago and the Information Revolution just a couple of decades. I think the consciousness change is even faster, it may not need a new species to come along. We may actually be able to develop the new values, the new way of thinking ourselves, and so prove we can live in harmony with ourselves and the planet. . . . Computing power is doubling every eighteen months, but the World Wide Web is doubling, now as I speak, every fifty eight days. This means nobody knows where its going, not even in a years time. Right now, there are people thinking up ideas which will be mainstream in six months and which other people will use to create new things. . . . I think one of the most interesting things about the web is that as well as giving us information it's also a spiritual vehicle. The fastest growing area in the book business is now spirituality and a lot of those people who are interested in spiritual things are also people who are playing with the web. . . . There's no one guru out there who is telling us all the answers. We're learning from each other, and the web is making that happen much faster.
posted by Lorenzo 1:54 PM
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's University of Peace (The Guardian, December 10, 2003)
[David Lynch] has lent his famous name and idiosyncratic hairstyle to a project to raise $1bn on behalf of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian guru of transcendental meditation who once entranced the Beatles, and who has for the past few decades been striving to build an earthly paradise. This venture has taken many different forms over the years, but almost all of them have involved buying up large swaths of real estate across America. . . . By yesterday the plan had changed again. The $1bn is for a meditation centre big enough to hold 8,000 skilled practitioners. Lynch explains that such a critical mass of positive thinking "broadcast" from one spot will be enough to pacify the world. . . . "If you understand the mechanics of TM, then you understand the mechanics of the peace-creating group," he explains. "When you do TM, this level of unity can be enlivening the world consciousness and it can go into the atmosphere. When the sun comes up the darkness goes away." . . . Lynch says he is not the recipient of a sudden revelation, but has been transcendentally meditating twice a day for the past 30 years, but is still "not enlightened". Furthermore, he admits that even if he was enlightened, serenity does not make for very interesting movies. . . . "Film can't just be a long line of bliss. There's something we all like about the human struggle," he says, but just as he appears about to delve into his darker muses, he adds cheerily: "Meantime I know that the Maharishi's peace plan will work and I want to do what I can to help it." . . . Lynch insists meditating has changed his life from an angry man who used to take his anger out on his first wife, to a man at peace, all in the space of two weeks back in 1973. . . . Along the way, Lynch came to believe the Maharishi's insistence that the inner peace was transferable. He repeats the TM claim that large-scale meditation in certain American cities, including Washington, had helped bring down the crime rate. . . . Most of Lynch's friends and colleagues in Hollywood believe that the first major step they could take towards world peace would be to vote George Bush out of power next November. Lynch says he agrees, but that the political world has diminishing interest for him. "I'm just watching C-SPAN and all these people are talking about surface problems and trying to solve them on the surface and as soon as they get one - three more pop up and it just goes like a merry-go-round, around and around and around. We see it all the time and people with good intentions are trying so hard," he says. "But this is now below the foundation bringing up unity and... all the stuff starts getting better - just like magic, but it's science, and it works." . . . Lynch talks a lot about achieving "coherence" in life through meditation, but most of his attempts to express the benefits of TM for the world often seem to struggle towards that goal before falling short, doomed forever to chasing the ineffable in vain. He seems aware that much of what he says will be taken as babbling, and even that his professional reputation might suffer if his many fans suspected he has become enslaved by a cult. For this reason, he suspects many of the Maharishi's followers in Hollywood have preferred silence, but Lynch seems like a man with nothing to lose. . . . "I think I know what you're saying about the cult thing... and I think people have agents and it's safer not to mix it up and come out as a spokesperson for this . . . it never seems to work out too well so they just keep quiet. It's a personal thing pretty much anyway," he says. "So it's just that this thing of peace is kind of important and I don't mind coming out and talking about it."
posted by Lorenzo 3:17 PM
We are living in an Extraordinary Moment The above link will load a beautiful Flash animation with a voice-over description of evolution's path from the Big Bang to You. I believe you will find it well worth your time to spend a few minutes viewing this wonderful work and then contemplate its message. .... We often forget what unique beings we are, us humans. Our very survival as a species is at stake right now. If we cause our own extinction, millions of years of evolution and countless lives will have all been lived for naught. What YOU do, right now, today, tomorrow, and in the next few years will have more of an impact on the future than all of your ancestors lives combined. We truly live in an Extra-Ordinary Moment ... Press on!
posted by Lorenzo 2:27 PM
ZNet Pen Pals List The ZNet Pen Pals List is a tool that socially concerned people can use to meet others, network, and share information. They allow users to meet and get to know one another and there is a presumption that folks using the system are politically and socially progressive. . . . As to the list, you can search by state and/or city or you can search by country and/or city.
posted by Lorenzo 4:24 PM