Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beyond Capitalism

All things we know of in existence have a beginning, a middle and an end. This as far as we can tell is an inescapable fact of the ever-evolving Universe we find ourselves in. For humans this reality can at times be a challenging truth to come to grips with given our understandable desires to seek continuity & stability in our lives, environments, social relations as well as beliefs.

In the sciences this tendency for life systems to seek stability is referred to as homeostasis. Though usually thought of in the context of how our bodies regulate themselves at a basic biological level, homeostasis spills well past that point and into the very nature of what our minds value, believe and by consequence into the social structures we collectively construct, maintain and defend. As a result, and like a hidden puppet master pulling the strings, the forces of homeostasis have wired into us primal emotions to place higher value on what we currently believe – no matter what that may be – while instinctually leading us to distrust that which falls outside of what we deem "normal" and by reflexive assumption label "correct".

Capitalism – for those of us in the United States & much of the West our cultural identification with this particular economic arrangement – our "homeostatic normal" – runs deep. It so permeates our society's mindset that the thought of this institution ever coming to an end seems an almost inconceivable notion. One must ask though, is the thought of Capitalism one day reaching a conclusion really such a far-fetched idea when taking in the long view and considering the myriad of economic, technological & governmental transitions our species has undergone over the ages and especially in the light of a future that is bringing exponentially increasing change that far outstrips anything we have experienced before?

With that question in mind, this next stasis-challenging presentation from Economics Emeritus Professor Richard Wolff turns an expert & critical eye to the dominant economic system of our age and asks the question: Can we do better than Capitalism?

Capitalism and Democracy at Work

For more excellent presentations from Professor Wolff see Capitalism Hits the Fan and Private Versus Public.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gangster Cuddles

A must see Keiser Report with Rolling Stone journalist, Matt Taibbi.

To read Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article go here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Got Free Will?

Think you have it???

This next presentation from neuroscientist & author Sam Harris may throw you for an amazing loop!

Sam Harris on "Free Will"

For more from Harris see The Moral Landscape...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Paradise or Oblivion

"We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~ Albert Einstein

Those wise words are as true as ever, and as humanity continues to move into the 21st Century it is becoming abundantly clear many of the ways in which we navigated the challenges of the 20th Century – and those previous – are simply no longer working.

From the extraordinary pressures we as a species are placing on the life systems of the Earth, to the looming energy & resource crises, a projected population of over nine billion by mid-century and an economic paradigm locking us into wasteful patterns of consumption, war, poverty & unsustainable growth the time for having our eyes fixated on the past can now only bring us the most perilous of consequences. That's the downside!

On the up side, given the numerous challenges humanity has overcome we have developed a panoply of powerful social, technological & scientific capabilities that if intelligently & judiciously applied could bring about a rise in our collective wellbeing far in excess of anything we experience today. We could quite readily end all war and poverty on this planet with what we now have at our disposal. A tantalizing opportunity don't you think?!

Up or down one thing is for certain... the clock is ticking and the choice is ours – paradise or oblivion.