Archive for 2012

Doomsday Averted

Friday, December 21st, 2012

So it appears we wily humans managed to skirt disaster once again. Truly fortunate, seeing as how existing – as opposed to not – is pretty sweet.

For thousands of years humans have been predicting the end of the world. And you know what? None of them ever come true.

Well, it is a fact that all those people did eventually die. But life itself always finds a way to go on.

So even though at any given moment the world and every single one of us could be wiped out of existence in a flash – a reality of being alive as we know it – this persistent potential demise needn’t be feared.

Instead, embrace the impermanence of life so that every second alive is one cherished as precious. This way you’ll be ensured of getting the most out of your time here.

Israel Up to Same Old Atrocities

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

One of the world’s leading human rights violators – the State of Israel – is in the headlines once again, positioning their military along the Gaza border while murdering innocent Palestinian civilians.

And yet again we see the blatant double-standards in Western media coverage: “Israel has a right to defend themselves from the Palestine aggressors who’ve been launching hundreds of rockets.” Every time we hear about Israel bombing Gaza, the reporter always – ALWAYS – frames it as if Israel is ‘reacting’ to Hamas’ attacks.

It’s as if history conveniently goes back just to the point when Israel ceased their last attacks and the Palestinians hadn’t.  Always neglecting to point out how one side are firing makeshift bottle-rockets in the general vicinity of their targets (Palestine), while the other side uses state-of-the-art weaponry from one of the world’s biggest arsenals (Israel).

But never mind the fact that this battle is egregiously one-sided. It would be nice if the media were to at least acknowledge fault on both sides of the conflict, but we don’t even get that. Every single time, Israel is the good guy simply protecting itself and Palestine is the evil terrorist destroying the peace and threatening the world.

Some of this is due to Israel’s powerful PR campaign which has infiltrated much of the Western world. They’ve bought our support. Somehow we see them as victims and their enemies as bad. As well, it’s likely that there’s some inherent anti-Muslim sentiment tied up in there as well.

Cenk from the Young Turks offers an excellent analysis of this hypocrisy in the video released yesterday. It’s a little long, but well worth watching, especially if you’ve never been exposed to the alternate viewpoint that maybe the State of Israel isn’t exactly worthy of our support:

The best point that Cenk makes – one which so often gets ignored by the press – is that Israel simply refuses to make peace. They stifle the Palestinian’s peaceful attempts at diplomacy through the UN. They are unwilling to accept truces and ceasefires. They do not want the conflict to end.

See, Israel’s true agenda is expansion. For 70 years now, Jewish settlers have been stealing Palestinian land. They bulldoze Palestinian homes, burn their crops, bully their children, and forcefully evict them under the pretence of religious destiny.

And only under the fog of war – by having armed men fighting – can Israel continue to rob their neighbours of land without too much opposition from the International community. If Palestine was recognized by the UN as a state, or if Hamas militants stopped their acts of defiance, Israel would no longer have the pretence they need to further their institutional genocide.

So here’s the sad truth: even if Hamas were to stop firing rockets, it really wouldn’t matter. Israel would simply send their own troops into Gaza, disguise them as Palestinians, and have them fire upon their fellow Israelis. That way their necessary war stays perpetual, and Isreal’s illegal and immoral agenda remains on the table.

This leaves the only practical path to peace as a global awareness campaign. Once enough of the world’s people see Israel for what it is – a warmongering bully – international pressure will continue to mount against them. Then, just like with Apartheid in Africa, Israel will have to stop their campaign of wholesale racism and death if they wish to remain part of the modern world.

The Spark Project

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

In early 2013 a tool by The Spark Project will help concentrate people power into a force so powerful that it can counterbalance giant institutions like corporations and bad governments, even rivalling the biggest scourge of the earth – the military industrial complex.

The Spark Project was started 1 year ago by a group of Redditors who were inspired by the site’s amazing ability to filter through nonsense while bringing the best and brightest ideas to the top. They thought, ‘why not take this effective formula of crowdsourcing and use it to foster a true democracy?’. And so they did.

While still looking for funds and volunteers, the team have made tremendous headway and will likely release their tools early in 2013. Read more about the project at thespark.org.

It is tools like these which, once refined and widely adapted, can truly reshape the world. By channelling the voices of millions (and billions) of people into practical political clout, we’ll finally be able to enact real changes to the global establishment. We can finally make our world what we want it to be.

No more gross inequality where billionaires can hoard more for themselves while billions of people are left to starve. No more rampant exploitation of weaker nations by the more powerful in what is no less that modern-day slavery. No more politically or corporately organized armed conflict, meaning world peace will finally be upon us.

All this, and more, can and will be ours once we truly start working together as one people. Awesome!

Automated Greenhouses – Soon to be a Reality!

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Picture a greenhouse that continually produces food all by itself, with little to no human interaction. This autonomous mechanical marvel – built from low cost materials and powered by renewable energy – could truly mean a sustainable source of fresh food all year round.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is right now. But not for much longer. Automated greenhouses are fast becoming a reality, and these seemingly magic structures will give humankind a permanent solution to world hunger.

Consider the Horto Domi project, which aims to take the labor out of running a garden at home. Their working prototype can regulate soil and atmosphere conditions, runs on the economical Arduino micro-computer, and can be monitored remotely via web App.

So it’s not yet a magical box. But over the coming years, teams will hash out the remaining pieces of the puzzle. Atmospheric water collectors will provide all the fresh water needed to irrigate the crops. Wind and solar will provide the necessary energy to heat and run the system. The structure itself will be built from some kind of abundant material, shaped into whatever form works best. And all that will be left is to figure out how to mechanize the entire crop cycle safely and effectively.

The implications of this will be astounding! No one will be starving anywhere on the planet. Incredible, right?

If you think about all the wars and chaos in our world, so much of it is rooted directly in poverty. People in desperate situations are willing to do desperate things. When no mouth goes hungry, when everyone’s needs are met, there won’t be this fundamental drive towards violent conflict.

Automated greenhouses – and the incredible boon they’ll offer- give us one more reason to believe that world peace is just around the corner.

American Drone Strikes Found to be Illegal and Ineffectual

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

A recent Stanford/NYU Law study analyses the United State’s growing reliance on unmanned aircraft as remote executioners, and they’ve found out what many of us already know: the use of drone strikes needs to be halted immediately.

Interviewing 130 people in Pakistan about their personal experiences with U.S.-led drone attacks – 69 of which had either survived or lost family to a strike attack – the report builds on findings by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which counted ’474 to 884 civilian deaths since 2004, including 176 children’ while ‘only about 2% of drone casualties are top militant leaders.

The report also shows that American UAV attacks violate international law, making them illegal war crimes. Obama is now complicit in human rights violations and should stand trial alongside the Bush Administration.

Furthermore, the team found drone strikes to be ineffectual  and counter-productive, stating: ‘Evidence suggests that US strikes have facilitated recruitment to violent non-state armed groups, and motivated further violent attacks. One major study shows that 74% of Pakistanis now consider the U.S. an enemy.’

So that settles it, right? No more need to prolong the injustice. Tell everyone you know about how wrong drone strikes are, and together we can finally put an end to long distance murder.

Time to Stand Up

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

CEOs from a handful of the world’s largest corporations have been meeting in secret, penning blueprints intended to tighten their stranglehold over our planet and further conform our species into complacent consumers.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – once ratified in under three DAYS TIME!!! – will give global businesses the means to supersede domestic law, imposing pro-corporate legislation on all complicit countries.

If you already know about the World Trade Organization and how they often bully smaller nations into accepting detrimental financial regulations desired by stronger nations, then you’ll recognize the TPP as a further extension of that same mechanism.

This corporate pact – the latest in an unending quest to privatize the world – ultimately seeks to strip regular people of power. Less ways to hold businesses accountable. Fewer means to challenge the authority of big money. All this, plus a fundamental erosion of democratic processes by global forces overpowering sovereign will.

So if you care about your freedom, if you want choice to be more than just an illusion, if you think that people should take priority over profits, then you need to take action. Do something, anything. Even if it’s just signing a petition.

The sooner enough of us stand up to our burgeoning oppressors, the sooner we can reclaim our destiny from the hands of the selfish few.

I’m Okay With Bronies Now

Monday, August 13th, 2012

If you’re the sort of person who frequents the outskirts of the Internet then there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled upon  the curiosity known as a Brony. If you haven’t, they’re the 16-34 year old male whose frightening devotion to the children’s cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic takes awkwardness to new heights.

And for the longest time – ever since I heard of Bronies on whatever cesspool of humanity’s website it was (4chan I’m looking at you!) – I just couldn’t accept them.

It seemed ludicrous, absurd even, for grown men to act like girls in preschool. Worse still, they wouldn’t just do it quietly. They had to be loud and in your face with it, begging for someone to give them the equivalent of a high-five, the bro-hoof /)

And perhaps most innervating was the apparent growth of the Brony population. It just wouldn’t go away. If anything, Bronies (and their female PegaSis counterparts) are more prevalent than ever before.

So, for the longest time, I stood beside the average teenage gamer and Youtube commenter, condoning the open ridicule and scorn of anything Pony related.

But then I had a moment of clarity. An epiphany, if you will.

These Bronies represent something that makes me feel awkward. It’s not about what they are doing… it was about how it made me feel – uncomfortable –  because no proper human male behaves as such.  And it was this realization – that my own indoctrination about acceptable social norms was prejudicing me – which exposed the fear-rooted negativity being roused by the Brony population.

Why can’t a man openly love a cartoon show about magic ponies and then gather frequently with other like-minded men to watch something that seems to be written for little girls? If it’s not hurting anyone, then there is no harm.

So now I can accept Bronies. I still don’t approve of their lifestyle choices. But it’s their choice and whatever they do will no longer evoke hateful emotions from me.

And if you yourself are a Brony, thank you for exposing me to my own prejudices and challenging me to expand my horizons. While you’re unlikely to get a bro-hoof back, at least you’ll no longer get a bro-slap.

Human Immortality Coming Soon!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Who wants to live forever? Who doesn’t??? Maybe you’re one of those people who’d still like to be able to die… but what if you didn’t have to worry about kicking it until you’ve crossed off everything on your bucket list. And for the rest of us, why not live forever? Sure beats croaking like a mortal.

You’d be around long enough to explore our entire universe, but why stop there. Computer game makers are already giving us vast, alternate universes to play around in and there’s always more to come. Imagine when we have incredibly lifelike computer simulations, accessible in our own dwellings, indistinguishable from actual reality. Yes!!! I’ve always wanted my own Holodeck.

That humans will transcend biology is an accepted notion amongst many futurists, like Aubrey du Gray and Ray Kurzweil, who’ve long seen the fountain of immortality approaching. And now, a leading team of Russian scientists predict that the tools to extend our lives indefinitely will be upon us in about 30 years.

Yes!!! I love to hear it! Such brazen optimism is exactly what our world needs more of.

For a while now I’ve been preaching about the coming human revolution, where we rise up as a species to restructure our world’s economy and power structure. And one by-product of this great upheaval will be the end of institutionalized warfare, meaning we finally find world peace. Plus, to top it all off, I believe humankind’s most monumental achievement – this impending insurrection – is due to happen within a decade or two!

So it’s always nice to see when other people – scientifically minded industry leaders – also agree that good things will continue to happen for us on a planetary scale.

Democracy is Working… in China!

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Democracy is more than just voting for one figurehead or another every couple of years. It’s more than simply slapping some bumper sticker on your car or sticking some sign in your lawn. There’s more to democracy than what happens on election day and at the ballot box.

Real democracy is about taking issue with what’s most important to you. It’s about starting or joining a movement. It’s about getting people involved, out in the streets and on the interwebs, in big enough numbers to force change on to the political system itself.

The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. Even the Tea Party. All of these are fine examples of democracy in action where hundreds of thousands – even millions – of engaged individuals worked diligently towards a shared goal. And the best part is that they’ve all made a lasting impact on the world’s political system.

Now this very essence of democracy – this coordinated will to power by the masses – has sprouted up on the streets of China. Outraged at the prospect of a giant sewer running through their backyards, angry citizens clashed with police and rioted in the streets, offering a rare glimpse into China’s ripening revolution.

But here’s the kicker – the protests worked! Officials have scrapped their plans for a waste pipeline. Wow! If only the Quebec government was that quick to fold under pressure, student’s would have free tuition by now.

Here’s hoping for more protests in the days and years to come. Not just in China, but everywhere on earth as our world’s people comes together and rises up against the forces of injustice and inequality that have persisted for far too long.

World’s Wealthiest Stealing From the Rest of Us

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Imagine winning a 20 million dollar lottery. Pretty sweet, right? Enough cash to live in the lap of luxury for generations.

Now times that by a thousand. This is what the world’s billionaires contend with – a net worth thousands of times bigger than what most humans would consider a fortune.

And now that you have this tremendous sum in your head, multiply it by another thousand. That makes 20,000,000,000,000 – 20 Trillion dollars! – which is the amount of money the world’s super-rich have been hoarding in secret, shielded from any taxes.

Unbelievable, isn’t it? Despite being the richest humans on the planet, they still want more for themselves. Billions of dollars just isn’t enough. It’s like they have the same fear we all share, and all the money in the world won’t get rid of it.

Still, as nice as it would be to temper the growing gap between the super-rich and the rest of us, it seems there aren’t enough elites, like Buffet and Gates, willing to fetter their own expanding wallets for the sake of the planet.

This puts the onus on the rest of us – those of us who aren’t the 1% of the 1% – to stand up and say NO! This economic model simply will not suffice! We want a more just world for everybody, and if you aren’t going to make it happen we will do it ourselves!