“They took our boots, no less our straps,” anti-racist African-American campaigner “Queen Mother” Audley Moore
Our Technological Future
Our technological future…where will it take us? From the Commodore 64 of yesteryear to Cloud Computing, from Univacs to handheld computers with a capacity that dwarfs that of its room-filling digital ancestors – when it comes to technology we are in a maelstrom of innovation that shows no sign of slowing down. Driver-less cars, smartphones, pint-sized plastic cylinders that translate our wishes and commands into front lawn lights turned on while we’re still miles from home and emails sent without our having to touch a keyboard – it does seem as if we’re living in a golden age of technology. For all that, though, have we failed to see the true, best promise of computers and Boolean algebra?
Non-stop technological change
Yes, life on earth has already been transformed in just one generation by the digital revolution. An ever-increasing rate of technological change is a given at this point. Artificial intelligence is barely out of the womb, and we expect robots and robotics to change the face of employment in our lifetimes.
Is there still something more, something outlandish, something much more personal – even something theological – that we can expect, a New Age which – as Albert Einstein said – we are woefully unprepared for in light of the great gulf that separates our technology -on the one hand – and our humanity? Is the promise of computing and all things digital just a new and more exciting chapter in human evolution or is it the fulfillment of same?
Are humans obsolete?
Are we going to turn ourselves into machines at this point, into cyborgs who can go for centuries without that proverbial “30,000 mile checkup,” or is there something even greater to be hoped for, something that will fulfill not only the practical yearnings of humanity but our spiritual yearnings as well? Do cloud computing and wireless technology and the rapidly evolving state of artificial intelligence also promise us something existential, something that will help us to escape from our imprisonment in the randomness of it all; a hitherto dominant reality in which so much of life on earth is determined by ignorance and accidents of birth?
…to be continued
Jane Roberts’ Seth Speaks was a blockbuster of a book, written by a housewife without a literary reputation or academic credentials. See below for a fascinating video interview with the housewife whose work fascinated both mainstream psychologists and hippie mystics.Here are some quotes from it:
Seth Speaks Quotes
“You would be much better off in reading this book if you asked yourself who you are, rather than asked who I am, for you cannot understand what I am unless you understand the nature of personality and the characteristics of consciousness.”
I hope that this book will serve to release the deeply intuitive self within each of my readers, and to bring to the foreground of consciousness whatever particular insights will serve you most.”
What is reality engineering?
What is reality?
“Cogito ergo sum”…”I think (or I reflect) therefore I am,” is a universally celebrated statement made by the 17th century French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes. The folks at allaboutphilosophy.org have this to say about the man who is credited with canonizing the philosophy of dualism:
“Descartes held that the immaterial mind and the material body are two completely different types of substances and that they interact with each other. He reasoned that the body could be divided up by removing a leg or arm, but the mind or soul were indivisible. This concept is difficult to accept for those with a secular humanist, materialist, and evolutionist worldview because accepting it is accepting supernaturalism. Consequently, Bible believers accept dualism and people with the opposite worldview find themselves obligated to reject it.”
Those of a social-philosophical bent might say that reality is a function of agreement among two or more people; and might focus on our political side (speaking in a broad sense). In agreement with the ancient Greek thinker Aristotle, they might insist that since humans are overwhelmingly social creatures, the meaning of our lives is best expressed in our many ways of living, working and believing together.
Declaring that “the real is rational and the rational is real,” the German enlightenment philosopher Hegel, on the other hand, emphasized the role of reason as a vital element of reality co-creation.
Then, of course there are the many mystics who have graced us with imaginatively expressed views about the nature of reality. Hammurabi, Moses, Confucius, Gautama Buddha, Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Akhenaten, Jesus..the list is almost endless and does not include the thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people whose insight into the nature of reality was of great importance to their fellows.
Who are Reality Engineers?
Anyone who sees existence as something to be understood and worked with, as well as a thing of mind-boggling wonder.
“Mexico has a lot going for it just now. Its economy is tied to America’s rather than China’s: in a week it sells more exports to the world’s largest consumer market than it does to China in a year. Once dependent on oil, it has Latin America’s largest and most sophisticated industrial base, exporting more cars than any country except Germany, Japan and South Korea. For two decades its macroeconomic management has been impeccably orthodox. Recently, it has thrown open its oil industry to private investment, and has tackled private monopolies. A vibrant Mexican middle class prospers along an industrial corridor running from the American border down to Mexico City. Its political system is essentially stable.”
…from the Economist’s 2015 article “The Two Mexicos”
The following is reprinted from Why Mexico is California’s China by Joe Matthews 02/27/14 at Zocalopublicsquare.org:
“Don’t look now, Californians. Mexico is about to pass us.
Americans are intensely aware that China, with its rapid growth and expanding middle class, is likely to have a bigger economy than ours within a decade or two. But few Californians are aware that the growing Mexican economy, with its own expanding middle class, is likely to surpass our state’s economy.
The moment of Mexican triumph may come sooner than we think. If you consider California its own nation, it would have the ninth largest economy in the world. Mexico currently has the 14th largest, but Goldman Sachs projects that by 2050, Mexico’s will be the fifth largest economy on the planet—having blown past California’s long before that.
We’d be better off thinking about Mexico as California’s China
Yes, such rankings are mostly symbolic: Mexico’s people (119 million today) will still be poorer on average than California’s. But if Mexico has a bigger profile on the world stage, we may find ourselves in its shadow. So Californians would be wise to start thinking differently about our neighbor. Right now, when we do talk about Mexico, we obsess on chronic, mutual problems—unauthorized immigrants, drugs, and violence. As a result, there’s been next to no discussion of Mexico’s rise—or of how we can prosper from it.
We’d be better off thinking about Mexico as California’s China—a vital economic partner that’s also a competitor, a society that is rapidly advancing even as it remains dogged by poverty, corruption, and other severe social problems.
Mexico is producing more engineers than California
The promise of the Mexico-California relationship is that our neighbor is gaining in areas in which we need help. California, with its stagnant economy and hollowed-out middle class, could find a new economic engine in the continuing growth in Mexico, which is already our largest export market. California is desperately short of engineers and technically skilled workers, and Mexico is producing more engineers than California (and nearly as many as the entire United States)…”
(Originally posted on the University of Buffalo Grad. School of Education website…http://gse.buffalo.edu/)
“Metacognition” is one of the latest buzz words in educational psychology, but what exactly is metacognition? The length and abstract nature of the word makes it sound intimidating, yet its not as daunting a concept as it might seem. We engage in metacognitive activities everyday. Metacognition enables us to be successful learners, and has been associated with intelligence (e.g., Borkowski, Carr, & Pressley, 1987; Sternberg, 1984, 1986a, 1986b). Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature. Because metacognition plays a critical role in successful learning, it is important to study metacognitive activity and development to determine how students can be taught to better apply their cognitive resources through metacognitive control.
What is metacognition?
“Metacognition” is often simply defined as “thinking about thinking.” In actuality, defining metacognition is not that simple. Although the term has been part of the vocabulary of educational psychologists for the last couple of decades, and the concept for as long as humans have been able to reflect on their cognitive experiences, there is much debate over exactly what metacognition is. One reason for this confusion is the fact that there are several terms currently used to describe the same basic phenomenon (e.g., self-regulation, executive control), or an aspect of that phenomenon (e.g., meta-memory), and these terms are often used interchangeably in the literature. While there are some distinctions between definitions (see Van Zile-Tamsen, 1994, 1996 for a full discussion), all emphasize the role of executive processes in the overseeing and regulation of cognitive processes.
The origins of “metacognition”
The term “metacognition” is most often associated with John Flavell, (1979). According to Flavell (1979, 1987), metacognition consists of both metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences or regulation. Metacognitive knowledge refers to acquired knowledge about cognitive processes, knowledge that can be used to control cognitive processes. Flavell further divides metacognitive knowledge into three categories: knowledge of person variables, task variables and strategy variables.
Stated very briefly, knowledge of person variables refers to general knowledge about how human beings learn and process information, as well as individual knowledge of one’s own learning processes. For example, you may be aware that your study session will be more productive if you work in the quiet library rather than at home where there are many distractions. Knowledge of task variables include knowledge about the nature of the task as well as the type of processing demands that it will place upon the individual. For example, you may be aware that it will take more time for you to read and comprehend a science text than it would for you to read and comprehend a novel…”
Thoughts about Trump
Erin French Interviews Millennial re Trump.
Note…this interview was completed in March 2017, so please keep in mind that any comments about Russia, Putin etc. were based on information that was then publicly available.
What do you believe the “Make America Great Again” movement is all about?
-I believe the movement is about keeping our countries wealth within its borders. I feel there are many parts of our country that are financially struggling because of manufacturing jobs moving to other countries. To me, the slogan is about reviving our countries financially struggling areas.
How did you feel about the Muslim Ban?
-I feel that it is defiantly over the top and a little absurd. To put a blanket assumption over an entire religion because of a small minorities actions…. Its total BS. Muhamad Ali was a Muslim for cryin out loud
How did you feel about his thoughts on building “the wall”?
-I do not think a wall will solve any issues, there is already a wall/ impenetrable fence in parts and people just dig tunnels…. I have a feeling there is just some corruption issues at the border crossings, I don’t have enough facts to really say though. I did hear that at one point, America liked the influx of cheap labor and Mexico was the one getting mad at our loose border control. One day you like it, the next day you don’t…. I don’t think it should be built
After his interview resurfaced about “grabbing women by the pussy,” sexual assault attacks are said to have skyrocketed. Do you feel like you’ve witnessed or heard of sexual assault attacks occurring more often, and if so, do you think this has been a result of Trump’s infamous interview?
-I have not heard of any direct correlation of this. I doubt he had influence though if there were, presidents are not usually trend setters as far as American culture goes. Theres enough nastiness OKing that type of behavior on tv/movies.
How do you feel about the statements he’s made towards women and people of other races and ethnicities?
-I do feel he is a little too blunt at times. I don’t feel like I’m a racist, but I do at times stereotype on looks. The difference is I keep these thoughts to myself, he needs more self control. It is very surprising to me that these statements didn’t prevent him from taking the election…. Its like most of the country just brushed it aside, lol.
How do you feel about Trump green lighting the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines?
-I knew it was inevitable, not too much of a surprise because it’ll create jobs in the construction and maintenance of it. I am a little worried about renewable and greener energies being overlooked though, I feel our dependence on oil will continue until there’s no more left in the ground, lol. I like gas, I use it in my car and motorcycle and it brings me joy, so I really can’t complain. The pipelines should bring down our dependence on foreign oil producers and will hopefully save the city of Houston from having too layoff everyone, lol. Houston oil companies are laying off aaallllooootttt of people right now, maybe some of trumps energy policies will help them keep jobs.
How do you feel his policies will affect you, as a college student?
-I don’t feel I will be effected at all, unless he takes funding away from federal grants for college students, lol
How do you feel about him declaring mainstream media the “enemy of the American people”?
-I did not hear that, lol, I do agree with this though. I see so many people wasting soooo much time watching tv and listening to music with lyrics worse than anything trump has said…. I did enjoy him being critical with the news broadcasters, it does seem a conflict of interest when the news is reporting on things that shouldn’t be public knowledge, like who he is having phone calls with and so on…The news likes to blow small things out of proportion at times and I feel like they need to be checked and called out for it.
How do you feel about Trump’s relationship with Putin?
-Almost no comment, I feel like something big woulda already happened if it was gonna…. I think its just something the media is poking at just cause.
Are You a Cat Person? Here’s What It Says About You
“Are You a Cat Person? Here’s What It Says About You” is a post promoted and sponsored by IAMS Cat on 4/5/2017 1:01 AM
With “The Four Noble Truths of Relationships,” Susan Piven has given us a fascinating look at modern day relationships in the light of Buddhist scripture and thought. Check it out at “The Buddha a Film by David Grudin” website
Four Noble Truths of Relationships
Relationships are deeply uncomfortable.
Whether it’s your first date or tenth anniversary, there is simply an enormous amount of discomfort involved in relationships. We’re afraid of being hurt, disappointed, overtaxed, ignored. The interesting part is that all these things happen. This is just the way it is, even in happy relationships.
The thing no one tells you is that it’s impossible to stabilize a relationship. Yes, I really mean those italics. Impossible. The emotional exchange between two people shifts like grains of sand in the desert: some days you can see forever and some days you just have to take cover because something kicked up out of nowhere and now shit is flying all over the place. You can’t see two feet in front of you and it stings. On still other occasions, imperceptible winds cause little piles to slowly accumulate until, one day, a familiar path is altogether blocked. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen. And just like hiking in the desert, you have to be as absorbed in the present moment as you are attuned to atmospheric indicators. Woe to she whose attention to either lapses.
The bad news is you never get to where you thought you were going. You get somewhere else instead. The good news is that there’s basically no way to have a boring relationship.
Discomfort comes from trying to make the relationship comfortable.
At the root of the discomfort is the wish that it wouldn’t be uncomfortable, that we could eventually find the “right” person and relax. But the truth is that when you do find the (or a) right person, it’s anything but relaxing: your neuroses, their neuroses, and all the hopes and fears you’ve ever had about love flood your situation. Whether you bargained for it or not, you get introduced to your deepest self while someone else is trying to introduce you to their deepest self. It can get very confusing. But instead of wasting time trying to make it not confusing, better to dive right in and be really nice to each other as you consider the root of your own and his/her confusion. (Acting nice to each other in the midst of confusion is love. Shhh.) (PS Acting nice doesn’t always mean being all sweet and demure. But I digress.)
It’s the inability to create safety that plots the path to love.
True love seems to exist on some mysterious edge of its own. It can’t be controlled and when you try, it calcifies. To keep it alive, at some point you just have to let go and see what happens.
When you work with all this nuttiness, love becomes more than mere romance. It turns into something way better: intimacy. Romance has got to end, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. But intimacy? It has no end. You can’t be, “oh, intimacy, we’ve done that. What comes next?” Nothing comes next. That’s it. Discuss.
It is possible to work with the uncertainty skillfully.
Instead of flinging yourself kamikaze-like into the flame of love, you can train in working with the heat. As with anything you consider important (or life-threatening, for that matter), you don’t want to just show up and hope for the best. You want to play the odds.
Albright Calls Trump Useful Idiot for Russia
“In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chided Donald Trump on Monday, saying the Republican nominee has become Vladimir Putin’s patsy.
“There is a great term the Soviets used to use: ‘somebody being a useful idiot,’” Albright told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “I think that Trump falls into that category of people that are manipulated also by the Russians and the Russians are trying to interfere in our democracy because they don’t have one themselves.”
Albright, who served as the nation’s top diplomat under then-President Bill Clinton, says that as someone who has studied Russia, its alleged hacking to influence the 2016 election is “stunning,” but that Trump’s rhetoric only exacerbates the issue. The Obama administration has publicly accused Russia of using hacked emails to try to influence the election.
“Trump was briefed in his intelligence briefings about what the Russians are doing…”
“I have never seen a mind meld of this kind between the Russian leadership and a candidate for the presidency of the United States,” Albright, a frequent Clinton surrogate, said. “Trump was briefed in his intelligence briefings about what the Russians are doing and he is playing their game instead of being concerned about America’s democratic system.”
Clinton pressed Trump during the final presidential debate to admit that Russia was trying to meddle in the electoral process.
In response, Trump said the United States has “no idea” who is behind the hacks of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, which have been released by WikiLeaks. But he later added, he “of course condemned” any foreign meddling.