My faith (TED Talks, Barry Schwartz)

When asked if I believe in God I hestitate to say "no" because while God is a word I would never use, I do have blind, unfounded faith. I believe that people are good. This is the basis of this TED Talk by Barry Schwartz. I hope you enjoy it as I did.


Whoosh. . . bump.

This is pulled out from the archives. . . . ice sledding in PDX.


Writing Workshop

I'm taking a writing workshop right now. The main focus is on creative writing, and others in the class do great stuff with their characters. I seem to be hovering between prose fiction and autobiographical poetry. Here's something I wrote last night.

A stone wall warmed by the sun, in a feild of hay, is the best sort for walking on top of. And barefoot of course, is the best way to do it. Barefoot and with a friend, on a summer's day, and the smell of hay, all around.
Most of the stone walls I know have not smelled the scent of hay in a long time. They can be found aged in a forest, beneath the trees, resting. Less glamour, but no less dignity. A stroll on these walls may be less carefree, but more thoughtful. There is awe to be felt in these walls' age and experience. Seeing carefull tending, progress and yeild, now seeing unbridled growth, nature and peace.
Aging with respect. That's what we deserve. Don't move the wall, don't rebuild it, don't mimick it, don't forget it, but DO visit it. Remember with the wall, what IT was. Remember with them, who THEY were. The secret to eternal youth is hope for the future. If not for ourselves then for those who visit.


An old post never posted:

This is an old post from 10/19/07 that I never posted:

Live more Consciously

If you get nothing else from this entry, just go to this game:

A late night conversation, a short email exchange and a lead on an interesting Internet game, and suddenly I feel that I must do a blog entry.

A couple of nights ago Sasha and I were talking and I was telling her how I think that public transportation MUST have a come-back soon. I was making the argument that it needs to happen because we can't simply just keep making all our roads bigger. I had a few other points, but I wasn't doing a very good job at explaining myself. She was saying that it sounded like I was arguing that we return to a more primitive state of existence. I admitted that I kind of was, and we left it alone.

The game at the link above puts my point much more elegantly. You play by answering questions about your daily living habits. The site uses this information to calculate roughly how much of the world's resources you use. The next step that the game takes is very clever, and I like it. It tells you how many earths worth of resources would be needed if everyone in the world used as much "stuff" as you do. My number was somewhere around 3.5 Earths, and I don't even have a car!

This game shows in a very straightforward manner why we're going to need to trade our personal cars for buses and trains and start doing things more close to home. It also begs a big question: What are we all going to do if all the "underdeveloped" nations become "commercialized"? I imagine a seesaw: We (in America) are on the high end right now. We've got all kinds of stuff when and where we want it. If we want to bring quality of life up in other places we're going to have to cut back BIG TIME on how much we use and dispose of. We're going to have to "come down" off our high horses a bit.

Also in the last few days I sent Toph an email saying that I felt our economy was based too much on the continuous increase in population. I was saying that it seems investors are frequently putting their hopes in greater demand for products, services and land. This type of investing encourages and hopes for more people who need and use more stuff. Toph added that at the same time we seem to be automating more and more processes. This cuts jobs and undercuts the above investing plan. Basically, it's a messed paradigm.


Updated HOBY Website

I have been on the HOBY Maine Executive Board for over a year and a half now. My latest project for HOBY has been to update our website. (Most of the pictures on the site were taken by Sasha.) Check it out!
HOBY is a great organization. Please consider donating while you look at the site.