Sunday, January 29, 2006

The question of God

Another media production from public broadcasting, this one on the tv. I found this program engaging and informative. The format was a little scattered, but basically there was a narrative about the thoughts and ideas of S. Freud and C.S. Lewis, with these two influential people presented as opposing or contradictory. Then, periodically, the program would switch to a roundtable discussion among a diverse collection of people. There was the moderator, the editor of Skeptic mag. (Atheist), a Christian white male stockbroker, an african american filmmaker, a korean american physician, a jungian analyst, an agnostic lawyer, and another author/thinker. Needless to say, they didn't exactly see eye to eye, as Freud and Lewis. But the program was very compelling.

I was particularly interested in the roundtable discussion. While I thought it was excessively edited, it was great to see the free practice of Democracy.

In this spirit, let me posit a question to you, World. We live in a world that is dominated by democratic rhetoric. America is the seat of democracy in the world and yet when we look at the reality we see the vast majority of the population of the world subject to (in the medieval sense) a tiny uber-elite class of plutocrats.

Now, believe me, I know that economists say this and that about efficiency and the bottom line and whatnot, but frankly, I'm tired of hearing about economic reasoning. Sure there is a place for that, but lets look at the big picture. Rich people get richer while poor people struggle harder. IS THIS THE REALITY WE AS A NATION ARE STRIVING FOR? We need to stop thinking about our own survival for just a minute and remember our history. There have been times in our history, hard-won times, when America worked for the average guy. Now is not one of those times. Now is a time when average guys are becoming nobodies at an alarming rate. And yet average guys and nobodies combined are the overwhelming majority of the world. We are so busy struggling to live ourselves, we don't have time to organize like the uber-elite and their considerable numbers of wannabees.

What does this have to do with God? Well probably everything, but I've sat here long enough for today. I'll leave you with this thought. God is a collective manifestation of the thoughts, actions and prayers of a given population.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Jim Hightower

is great! I just heard him on the radio, Alternative Radio, that is, and he is on the money. If you aren't aware, Alternative Radio is a program aired on many publically supported radio stations. Hightower is funny and sharp as a razor. Furthermore, he speaks for the common folk of America, and I would wager, the world. I wish I could copy and paste his speech onto this blog, but suffice it to say that telling the web about it is about all I can do.

All we're asking for is peace, liberty and justice for all.

What are we here for afterall? I know it's not to cut each other's throats for a bigger slice of pie. I know that's not the ultimate fulfillment of life. So what then? Is it not to help each other out, let our friends who are down on their luck know that everything will be alright, as we strive to improve our lives. Americans are good decent people who don't generally disagree with what I just said.

It is unfortunate that many of us were tricked into believing that improving our lives meant amassing personal wealth and materiel (spelling intentional).

I'm slowly realizing that one's standing and/or notoriety in society is not a matter of one's wealth, but one of the person's force of expression. That is to say, the content/quality as well as the volume/quantity of one's expressions (talk, blog, email, letters, conversation, etc.).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

oil war

so the situation with Iran gets a little tense and the price of oil goes up again. A few weeks ago I heard on the radio a speech by Scott Ritter, former US military officer and UN weapons inspector, in which he detailed his investigation into the administration's plans to invade Iran. It was eerie, because mere days after I heard the speech, I started hearing the stuff he talked about: UN sanctions, UN security council action, Russia and especially China's reason's to oppose UN sanctions, and another unilateral US attack due to supposed "UN inefficacy" to paraphrase. And the preparation of "usable nuclear weapons"

If the American people can't see that we are "spending" blood for oil, then I don't know what to say. The Bush White House is acting like a paranoid drug addict who happens to have the biggest guns on the block. And yet people still support him. In other words, we're spending blood for oil and that's great. We need our oil so bad that it doesn't matter if a few thousand sons and daughters die. It certainly doesn't matter if a few hundred thousand arabs die. Is that really how it is?

Yes, oil drives our economy. Everyone is well aware of that fact. But do we really love it so much that we're not willing to cut back a little bit? Even if it helps to promote world peace? American's are good people, they all pray for world peace, even as they drive around in their SUV's or whatever to amuse themselves for a couple hours and escape from the boredom that is American life. What the hell is going on here?

Don't get me wrong, I'm as guilty as the next guy. I drive. But I bought a hybrid and I try to maximize fuel efficiency, because I'm willing to cut back a little bit. I'm willing to head in that direction. Am I still part of the problem? I don't know. But I do know that societies change and sometimes civilizations collapse. Paul and Anne Erlich's predictions seem as real as ever before, even as we cling to the illusion, the illusion of "sustainable growth". Sustainability is not about growth. Ultimately it is about long term stability. That means at the least cessation of growth and rejuvenation of ecological life support systems, aka ecosystems. Are we doing that? I don't think so. There are bright spots and inspiring examples, but it seems these are in a field of darkness.

I hope that it turns out that "its always darkest before dawn" is the case and humanity will experience a sea change in consciousness and continue on to find our greater purpose. I still hope and step on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm a little new to the blogging scene but I'm learning
In other words, it's entirely feasible that human beings have the capability to live sustainably upon the earth, without using up resources at the expense of future generations. I guess I didn't think that finishing my master's degree would contribute any progress toward that goal. And if we must be real, the reason for my leave of absence has to do with the issue of peak oil. That is to say, the possibility/probability that a peak in the global supply of oil will trigger a global economic collapse.

I came into this with a fire to promote renewable energy. What I came away with is that the concept of unlimited growth is still firmly entrenched in our society/culture. Perhaps in my deluded mind I felt that not finishing my master's degree was in some way a repudiation of the status quo.

Resource economics would suggest that once a resource peaks, the price will increase stimulating alternatives and investment in "production". But what if no viable alternatives exist and there isn't anymore to "produce"? Don't get me wrong, I still love renewables and the idea of a completely distributed energy production grid, but let's be real. No renewable energy source can match the energy density of petroleum, but their very natures. So, I worry. And I take little bitty baby steps like engaging in discourse as much as I can.

Monday, January 16, 2006

three blog

Organization is a proven method of creating social change. The only problem is people either can't agree on what and how to change or they don't care enough to think about it, much less do something about it.

Why did I take a leave of absence from grad school? There are many reasons. I was sick of staring at a computer screen all day and I couldn't accept a future career where that was what I did all day. I felt like the degree would have been meaningless for myself. I was/am disillusioned with traditional economic thought, primarily the implicit assumption that economies must grow to survive. I believe that human civilization is analogous to a cancer which will kill its host if left to grow unchecked. I don't think that technology will be able to substitute for life supporting ecosystems. But I do believe that unlike a cancer, we have the ability to turn things around.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

hi, thanks for stopping by timsbloggo Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

two post

returned to work today after several days off. Tile work is getting old. I don't know what to say.

Biodiesel is going to be big within 5 years. It's already a lot bigger than it was 5 years ago. It would be great to see a local biodiesel market develop. I mean a complete market, from production of oil stock to consumption. We're seeing growing consumption here in Corvallis, but not much production. Apparently it's cheaper to bring it in from whatever place that already has a huge plant...competitive advantage or whatever.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

one post

Another blog is born. Another citizen plugs into the matrix. yahoo!
I don't know if anyone will ever read my blog but I'm doing this because I have to express certain things that I seldom have a context in which to express them. you know what I mean? Also I think it'll be good therapy and whatnot, getting things off your chest so to speak.
I'm still thinking about whether to try to be completely transparent in my ramblings or whether to be guarded about expressing my thoughts to the world. I'm sure there are those who have tried both, please tell me about your experience.

So, I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Tim. I'm 31. I'm Korean-American and I'm currently a builder, which is my euphemism for construction worker. I'm married to my wife HK of three years. We have no children at this point. I enjoy the outdoors. My latest and perhaps last outdoor pursuit is surfing. Past pursuits have included snowboarding, rock climbing, a little mountaineering, and mountain biking. I'm also a thinker. I think I indulge in cognitive exercise more than your average bear. Which is not to brag, certainly, but just recognizing the acts of pondering, imagining, wondering as things I often find myself doing.

I'm a bleeding heart liberal. I say this in all seriousness. I suppose the term has been used not always as a compliment but whatever. I care, okay? I think most people do, they're just not recognizing it for whatever reason. Yes, I care about my fellow human beings. I care about the government and society, I care about suffering and hardship, even if its not my own. I care and I believe humans have the ability if not the responsibility to make things better. Yesterday, my wife and I and a few other travelers saw a poor, presumably homeless guy sitting in a rest area. He was sitting crosslegged, back to the wall, head down with a sign asking for help in the form of food or money. We gave him a few mandarins and a banana. Like others we're conscious of the possibility that if we gave him money, he'd go spend it on another fix of drugs. Who knows. We didn't give him any money. I just wish there was something more I could do to help him. I guess anything worthwhile would've taken more time than I was prepared to spend, but this is something I need to work on.

I don't know what to do, but it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to imagine a society with a strong safety net. I mean, aren't there some places where people don't fall through the cracks into oblivion no matter how bad the choices they made were?

Well, that's enough for now. I hope this experiment keeps working. I mean I hope this blog keeps living.