An open space for global conversation
Greetings to all Occupiers in this cafe.
The "Core Conversation" thread seems to be rife with talk of a different structure and process for what we call our "economy." I am creating this thread with the idea of hauling all that rich conversation over here and re-opening the Core Conversation thread to an exploration of other topics that might one day grow up to be their own threads as well.
Here is where we can critique the old economy if that is your bent, thrash out the meaning and structure of a new economy, the values we hold most dear about energy exchange with our world that truly values the others who share this world, whether it is by legislation or by grass-roots one-brick-at-a-time rebuilding. What needs tweaking? What needs to be discarded.
How do we begin? What are the steps? Where is it happening already?
Here are some resources I am familiar with:
Rob wrote: "it seems almost impossible anymore to predict or know what the future will hold. The best we can probably do is make educated guesses."
It always was impossible to predict the future, as a whole anyway. If everyone has some education, what's an educated guess? I'd rather turn every whole person loose with a handful, or less, of truths.
Life has defied entropy in a great number of ways, making more and more possible, on this planet. Humans can get with it (Life) or remain lost, losing and on the way out. Part of getting with it is becoming much more interested in each other, our forebears' understandings of being on the ground and those to come than in fuel/electricity supplies.
OK. I will be more precise. Judgement and discrimination are core mental functions which New Agers are afraid to wield (feminist men, in particular, are afraid to wield the sword which cuts through falsehood to expose the truth), and to which they almost universally apply a negative judgement (even if, as you suggest, some are more than happy to talk about them).
Perfect example of applying a negative connotation to judgement:
"I am not afraid to talk about critical thinking, judgement or discrimination...I hope my comments help us all to be a bit less judgemental"
I hope my comments encourage us to be more appropriately judgemental and unafraid to wield a sharp intellectual sword.
First of all, I think that you may have missed my point, which is that blanket statements about entire groups of people are seldom accurate or true; and in any case I, and many other new agers, are plenty discriminating. I, and perhaps in many cases we, just believe that the world is not always so easy to define, fully describe, and make definite conclusions about. And seemingly like you believe that one needs to continue to use discernment to try to get a fuller understanding of the truth.
In regards to my hopes that we be less judgmental, what I meant was that we be more willing to accept that different ones of us hold somewhat different and even conflicting beliefs, but that this does not necessarily make any of us right or wrong. Thus rather than saying, I know the truth and you don't, I personally hope that we can be more willing to talk and share what we personally believe without claiming dogmatic truth. This does not mean that we will not make judgements, but just that we will be more willing to listen to and consider varying views.
Hopefully, this will and does enable me, or us, to wield a sharper intellectual sword and not less.
Again, I am not afraid and am willing to make strong statements about reality, when I believe they are justified. For example, I will say quite bluntly that humanity is currently living in a most unsustainable manner; and if we do not change our ways quite rapidly we are going to, and already are, undermining our very survival on the planet. There is quite a bit of evidence now that we are headed towards a mass extinction of species, similar to what has occurred 5 or 6 times during the last 100 million years.
This said however, there are a myriad of beliefs as to what is possible and how we could live sustainably on the planet. Many people believe that the earth can only support 1 billion people sustainably. I personally believe that the earth can probably support 10 billion if we would rapidly transition to a fully sustainable and equitable lifestyle. BUT, this would require major changes, and probably within the next ten years or so, to such things as zero waste, phasing out the use of toxic chemicals, 100% renewable energy, restoring the natural environment, etc. All pre-requisites for living sustainably on the planet.
So, this is the easy part, even though I know very few people that actually seem to understand even this as of yet.
The hard part is that there seems to be a whole range of beliefs as to how we could make such a transition. There are decentralists, many of which encourage us to live simply that others may simply live. There are city planners, that think we need to prepare to welcome many more people in urban communities. There are technologists that think the answer lies in research, development, and implementation of new technologies. And there are some like me that believe we need to create a more effective and democratic system of global governance and that we need to engage all of the world's people in redesigning how we live on the planet.
Some of these beliefs and opinions quite naturally clash. And I would suggest that at this stage of life on planet earth, it would be very difficult to say which is necessarily right or wrong. Indeed our emerging beliefs may possibly influence the outcome to this very question and issue. More on this later in response to your comment below as to whether truth is relative or not.
All I want to say about it now is that humanity has many options and many different people all trying to do different things. Who is to say what will have what effect and what is finally possible or not. One year I grew ten 25 - 40 pound watermelons on a 20 by 30 foot patch of land, this year I grew almost no edible melons, while doing pretty much the same things. Who is to say why, but I at least have some somewhat educated guesses. But my point is not about why I got the results I did, it is that one can sometimes do almost the very exact thing and get very different results. And who is to say why. We live in a very complex world; and it can thus be quite difficult at times to predict what will work in various situations and what will not.
So, I will conclude by making one final judgemental statement. Strategic righteousness is like excuses. We all got it and it all stinks.
"First of all, I think that you may have missed my point, which is that blanket statements about entire groups of people are seldom accurate or true"
And I'm certain that you misinterpreted my comment. A "blanket statement" would contain inclusive modifiers such "all" or "every". My statement was a statistically testable generalization about a class of people, and I stand by its validity.
"different ones of us hold somewhat different and even conflicting beliefs, but that this does not necessarily make any of us right or wrong"
A belief, by definition, is an acceptance by faith of what one does not know. That may be faith in authority, in divine provenance, or in a preponderance of anecdotal evidence. What we empirically-minded and faith-based people seem to have forgotten is that it is possible to know things directly, immediately and intimately.
We can believe that God exists and that He loves us. We can believe that we can create a sustainable human culture of 10 billion people with as-yet-unknown new technology. We can believe it's going to rain tomorrow.
But there are archetypal truths that transcend time and culture that are directly knowable if we loose the straightjacket of the mind, and do a sidestep around ego.
Beliefs are widely disparate and often contradictory and the cause of much conflict and suffering. Truth is what connects us to the reality of the Universe and the Web-of-Life. We must stop living by faith and start living according to the Truth of the Universe if we are to have any prospect of returning to balance and avoiding our own extinction.
I disagree that TRUTH is relative. It is almost certainly true that most moderns are so deeply enmeshed with the current dysfunctional paradigm, based as it is on a separate self and an objectified world "out there", that at best we might glimpse fragments of TRUTH, filtered and colored by the medium through which it comes.
Similarly, there are people who channel TRUTH from other realms, and each channel more or less distorts the incoming signal. It is always up to us, the receivers, to discern signal from noise.
As for knowing the future, there is no reason to believe that it will be based on any physical or metaphysical laws that are different from the ones which have governed this universe from the instant of its birth. Because of the strength of science in its proper field and the universality of earth-based spirituality, we have a very thorough picture of those laws.
Now, perhaps if the nerds at the CERN Large Hadron Collider do manage to produce a black hole or create the Higgs Boson (called the God Particle, because it may be the seed of everything else), then we might find ourselves in a completely different parallel universe with entirely distinct rules. But I'm not holding my breath.
Zero-point energy is a theoretical concept devised by Einstein and based upon Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. It is the lowest energy state that a thermodynamic system can achieve as it approaches (but never reaches) absolute zero.
Collectively, the zero-point ground state of all energy fields in the Universe comprise the quantum vacuum energy or field and is the basis for the cosmological constant which effects the expansion of the universe.
There is speculation, but no agreement, among cosmologists and theoretical physicists about whether the cosmological vacuum field energy is finite or infinite, but it is assumed that none can be withdrawn without altering the ground conditions of the universe.
There has never been either any credible theory or testable mechanism by which the quantum vacuum energy can be harnessed. There has never been, and almost certainly never will be, a perpetual motion machine. Nothing in quantum science suggests that the fundamental laws of thermodynamics (entropy and conservation of energy) will ever be revised. All stories to the contrary are fabrications, delusions or frauds.
Just as a wise Indian elder said about believing what we hear from channeled spirit entities - "dead don't mean smart" - it is similarly true that some conspiracy theories have a sound basis and many are mere figments of strained imaginations.
The simple truth, that so few want to accept, is that we reside on a living planet that has been fueled by the sun for 3.5 billion years with unimaginable success. If we wish to believe that we can find or create something better than what the Universe has so graciously provided us all this time, then we are truly arrogant and misguided souls who will end up exactly where we deserve.
There is a patent on a device assigned to Jovion Corporation..still very experimental
In quantum field theory, the Casimir effect and the Casimir–Polder force are physical forces arising from a quantized field. The typical example is of two uncharged metallic plates in a vacuum, like capacitors placed a few micrometers apart, without any external electromagnetic field. Because the strength of the force falls off rapidly with distance, it is only measurable when the distance between the objects is extremely small. On a submicron scale, this force becomes so strong that it becomes the dominant force between uncharged conductors. In fact, at separations of 10 nm – about 100 times the typical size of an atom – the Casimir effect produces the equivalent of 1 atmosphere of pressure or 14.7 pounds per square inch - not enough to blow up a balloon.
What I mean by critical thinking isn't at all about judgement..its holistic, open, integrative out of the box kind of thinking..original thinking: not bound by ideology or framed by belief systems.. it's more like fully excavating all the content in front of us using all of our faculties.
A more elaborate definition:
"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
"What I mean by critical thinking isn't at all about judgement"
crit·i·cal: involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc., exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation
Wikipedia: Critical thinking is a way of deciding whether a claim is true, false, or sometimes true and sometimes false, or partly true and partly false. Critical thinking has been described as "the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment. It derives from the ancient Greek kriterion, which means standards or from kriticos, which means discerning judgment.
its holistic, open, integrative out of the box kind of thinking..original thinking: not bound by ideology or framed by belief systems."
It's not possible for a human mind to think completely without context, which means an ideological framework or a system of belief.
When we experience the rare Eureka moment, it is when we cease actively thinking and relax. You speak of "using all our faculties" but then provide a narrow list of various modes of intellectual data processing and ignore intuition, immediate reception of knowledge from the quantum field and receiving teachings from the subconscious (archetypal) dream state.
Further evidence that New Agers are afraid of owning or wielding that most important of all mental skills: judgement.
uhhhhh..that's a definition of critical
"critical thinking" has nothing to do with the definition of "critical" you have pasted up here
it s the opposite of what produces
If you truly believe in the value of critical thinking, you might try it.