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Showing posts from December, 2013

Day 240: Humanity as Interest Groups - Part 1

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In this post I'm investigating the terms 'Lobby', and 'Interest Group', and how they actually represent how we exist as Humanity currently.
Let's read the Merriam-Webster definitions:
"1lob·bynoun\ˈlä-bē\
2:  a group of persons engaged in lobbying especially as representatives of a particular interest group
2lobbyverb: to try to influence government officials to make decisions for or against something
: to try to get something you want by talking to the people who make decisions

"Lobby." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Dec. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lobby>.""interest groupnoun:  a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action
"Interest Group." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Dec. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interest group>. "
Most of us are familiar with these terms in the context of in…

Day 239: Creative Prison or Creative Expansion?

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I saw this article showing a photographer's photos of 'life behind bars' from the 1980s.

Doing time, 80s style: Stunning photos of life behind bars when Reagan was president http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530470/Life-bars-vivid-color-Stunning-photographs-American-prisons-80s-new-light.html
It's so strange to me how we'll see these photographs of various problems in our world, from crime, to war, to poverty, to guns, homelessness, depicted and glorified as 'art', with the emphasis being placed more on the 'beauty' and 'style' and 'artistic composition' of the photos rather than the fact that what we're looking at is part of everyone's reality, part of this world, and how -- it is a problem that requires a solution. 
For instance here are some of the captions from the photos of these prisoners taken from the article:
"Striking effect: Even though the surroundings are bleak, the prints are bursting with vibrant color…

Day 238: Transforming Ego to Empathy - Part 4

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Continuing from the last post:
http://www.matterfreeman.com/2013/12/day-237-transforming-ego-to-empathy.html

"Why do we refuse to empathize with the poor? Is it because we are afraid that if we did, we would have to acknowledge that they cannot necessarily change their situations -- just as we know and understand that it is in fact not easy to change our OWN situation -- and therefore -- it's our responsibility to change the system, to change their situation? "

So how did this fear come to be? How do we so easily ignore the suffering of others? How is it that we want others to empathize with us, and understand how difficult things can be for ourselves, and we go around saying things like 'you can't change who you are', wanting others to accept us 'for who we are', but when it comes to poverty - when it comes to people who are unemployed, homeless, poor -- we want to say it's as simple as them changing who they are and deciding to live differently? H…

Day 237: Transforming Ego to Empathy - Part 3

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Continuing from the last post:
http://www.matterfreeman.com/2013/12/day-236-transforming-ego-to-empathy.html

"...Or how about a rich and influential politician coming from a family of rich and influential politicians, telling you the only reason you're not a rich and influential politician is because you don't have the right attitude, and you just haven't made the 'choice' to become rich and influential?
Obviously within these examples, when we place ourselves in such a position with such people telling us these things -- we clearly see and understand that there are more factors involved in what you do as a job, than just 'your attitude' and 'your choice'. I mean, when we really look at ourselves -- we can see there are things that we simply do not have the capacity to do or would have a really hard time trying to do -- due to various factors like our education, our specific aptitudes or lack of aptitudes, our specific personality traits, ourfamil…

Day 236: Transforming Ego to Empathy - Part 2

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Continuing from the previous post:  http://www.matterfreeman.com/2013/12/day-235-from-ego-to-empathy-part-1.html "Now take a moment to consider the different types of jobs in the system, involving different kinds of relationships with other people -- for instance sales jobs, public speaking jobs, being in a courtroom, being in a management position, doing hard physical labor 12 hours a day, being an engineer, a mathematician, a teacher? How about being a famous actor? A famous author? How about becoming a CEO of a large corporation? Maybe you had a series of opportunities that led you to be able to become what you are today -- but do the conditions exist, do the opportunities exist right now for you to become let's say -- a famous actor? How about a city council member? Or, here's a good one -- since we believe it's all about 'motivation' -- we must really understand motivation, and therefore we would have no problem becoming a motivational speaker, right? It…

Day 235: Transforming Ego to Empathy - Part 1

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When we hear about people on unemployment, looking for work, or living on the street or in a shelter, having lost their job, lost their house, or maybe working 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs for 40, 50, 60, 80, 90 hours a week, we tend to tell ourselves and each other - 'well, they can improve their situation; they just have to set their mind to it', and 'they just need to learn to have a positive outlook and then good things will come to them', or 'all they need to do is decide to achieve more, set goals and be disciplined, and they can change their situation', and 'it's their choice to be poor', and 'it's their choice to be on the street', and 'they only work that minimum wage job because they have no initiative'.

But, within these types of statements, are we speaking from an actual understanding of the person's situation? Or are we just accessing ideas in our own minds, based on an opinion?

I mean it's important that when l…

Day 234: The Real Reason You Can't Find a Good-Paying Job

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4 in 5 in USA face near-poverty, no work

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend." http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/28/americans-poverty-no-work/2594203/
The above article talks about a loss of 'good paying manufacturing jobs' playing a role in poverty in America.

Let's examine the existence of 'good paying jobs' and 'bad paying jobs'. What this means is that there are some jobs that provide enough income for a good quality of life, and other jobs that do not.




Some jobs require hard physical labor.
Some jobs require more intellectual processes.
Some jo…

Day 233: The Prophecy of The Desolation of Humanity

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Last night I went to the movies to see the new Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug. I watched it in 3d, and it's really quite amazing to see the kinds of visual effects techniques that have been developed. Peter Jackson and his studio have really produced some of the most well put together effects with their Tolkien adaptations.

I was just looking at the point of how much engineering work goes into developing and producing these kinds of movies, and also gaming technology as well - and computer technology in general - and how we've had teams and teams of people working basically non-stop within these industries, making huge leaps in the technology every few years. I mean, we're now to the point where the visual effects in movies can be done so convincingly that it basically you can't tell the difference between what's 'real' and what's 'fake'. Games are also becoming more and more immersive and realistic, with the internet facilitating more i…

Day 232: The Hidden Agenda Behind Space Exploration

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So, we're planning on sending a woman to the moon:

"One giant leap for womankind: UK backs push to put female astronaut on moon Plans outlined today show UK, US and China plan to establish moon baseScience minister David Willetts revealed aim to send a woman on missionChina expects to have astronauts on lunar soil between 2025 and 2030 " 
        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2521073/UK-backs-push-female-astronaut-moon.html#ixzz2n34KBVbk
The last time man went to the moon was over 40 years ago. The story goes that it will be really cool to send a woman to the moon -- the 'final frontier' in 'gender equality'. Sending a woman to the moon will apparently be something we can be 'proud of', and will indicate some kind of 'accomplishment'.
Hmm.
Let's look at this space thing from a different angle. Something else that happened around 40 years ago, was that president Lyndon Johnson declared 'war on poverty'…

Day 231: Self Forgiveness on Creating Drowsiness

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Sleep is one of the things that is generally just accepted as just 'part of being human'. But as I've been walking my process over the past few years I've realized sleep has more dimensions to it than we would like to believe.

For example, take that experience of 'drowsiness', where you're sitting at your computer, or trying to do some work, and you just start nodding off, your eyes closing, your head dropping down, and there's this heaviness that feels like it's just invading your head and it's like -- I neeeeeed to sleeeeeeeep.....zzzzzzzzz.

One of the things I've noticed about the nature of this 'tiredness' experienced primarily in the head area / eyes area is that typically I only experience this when I've already been participating in some form of resistance, or depression, or lack of motivation, or listlessness in relation to my day, or in relation to a specific point within my day that needs to be done. Like, in those mom…

Day 230: The 'Mistletoe Girl' and the Current Economic Paradigm

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"Oregon girl won’t give up on mistletoe enterprise.An 11-year-old Oregon girl was caught in a legal dilemma when she tried to sell mistletoe to pay for orthodontia. People nearby could beg, but she couldn’t sell without a permit.The Associated Press
PORTLAND — An 11-year-old Lake Oswego, Ore., girl went into the holiday greenery business to help pay for her braces but then ran into a legal roadblock. After news stories, she got some orders and a big donation. Now she has the top row of her braces.
Madison Root cut and bagged mistletoe last week at her uncle’s farm in Newberg and took it to Portland’s arts and crafts bazaar, the Saturday Market, to sell at $4 a bag, The Oregonian reported.
She was doing OK, having sold seven bags in half an hour. Then a private security guard for the market told Madison and her father, Ashton Root, that the city code requires a sales permit.
Ashton Root said the guard told them that his daughter could beg for money, but she couldn’t sell the mistletoe…