Saturday, December 15, 2012

A start to more news...

The past few days could have been easier ones in the world. I fear that many in society are breaking. We shan't blame, guns, t.v., drugs, and everything else. There is no easy fix and that is what we are all searching for. Anyways, I'm just putting some links to some news sources on here so I can remember them. You ma be interested as well, who knows. A U.N. reporter. Investigative journalism.
The common language project.
Education reporting
The American Independent
The columbia journalism review.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This video is more real than it should be.

I'm not sure how this could be much better. It is about an accurate portrayal of the mess as I have seen.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Got something on my mind...

Free will is one of the subjects we question on a daily basis. I have come to some of my own quasi-conclusions but as with all open-ended studies, there is no ultimate answer. Anyone who purports to have definitive answer is speaking on the basis of belief. My own meditation on the concept started when I was taking a class on Milton and we were in deep discussion about Paradise Lost. I was fortunate enough to have an exceptionally brilliant teacher for the class and so the study was far more worthwhile than it may have been. Milton's Satan sought to be his own master, to have true free will but this meant defying God's will and early on declared "better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." This line is overly quoted but sparks a debate and discussion on the matter of individual control. The reality is that we are driven by so many needs and wants that free will seems impossible. We must eat, we must sleep, and most of us are compelled to do so much more. People go to work every day because they have to, not because they choose to. The addict gets another hit because he or she has to, rarely because of want. We respond to each other in automated methods or of of emotion that are challenging, if not impossible, to control. The interesting part of this discussion is that people are the being that conceptualized free will. We developed the idea, gave it a name, built nations, lived, and died with this concept yet as the most complex system known, we must follow more rules and regulations than any other organism. If complexity leads us further from independence, what does simplicity lead to? A single atom in space is bound by little and moves about with minimal rules, but it does with no knowledge. We have knowledge and understanding of the concept but are at a distant point from the reality. This is a horrible idea to believe for we have the ability to gain knowledge and understanding to explore the infinitude of freedom with purpose and organize it into our own beautiful world. That statement highlights were we can escape the trap and why we are so driven to create. Art, of any kind, liberates the individual from all things and provides the creator complete control within the medium. As an exercise of medium, art limits the maker to very specific elements but freedom within those areas and transient space within the mind of the maker to feel, and therefore, be free. The painter can only work with certain materials, the musician is tied to the instrument, the potter forms clay but they find a place of their own in the process of creating. This place is where free will does exist and provides a crucial explanation for our need to create beyond the enjoyment of cool stuff.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Need to make some pretty stuff for 'round here.

I do need to put up some pretty things since art is more fun than the mundane but I'm a bit busy at the moment. Next time, next time. I found this ad at . This is an excellent site for tracking money in politics. The ad is something else, I gather the world is going to end, though gas prices will be the biggest problem. My question is, would the ad be any different if it said "Four years of the other guy" at the beginning. What would change in the dialogue. It's a reminder that politics plays on emotion and image. People have more coherent discussions, more knowledge, and more interest when talking about a football game. Millions discussed boycotting the NFL until the regular referees came back. We take the time to learn about things that don't matter but not so on the things that do. Then again, many people realized how complicated football is in the first few weeks of the year. They also noticed how small rule changes and minor readings of the rules dramatically changed the game. At the end of the day, it's still just football with a pretty simple concept of moving a ball down a field. Government structure is far more complicated and small changes in rules, those changes buried deep within thousand page documents, can alter the lives of many. How are we to attack the problem? If each of us focused on one or two small ones we may change the direction in our favor, then we will have to trust the needs of the few are fit for the mass. Drat, now my head hurts and I must get on with grading. Best wishes and prayers to those riding the storm out and let's see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's another day to dream, another day to hope.

I have a problem with my daydreams.  My problem is that I get into a belief that I can make them happen. "If I just quit smoking, run, write three pages a day, and win the lottery..." It's the nasty cycle that happens because it feels so good to believe that tomorrow will be super-way better and I can buy my wife nice things and just be relaxed and confident about my place in the world.  Then reality comes tramping through and I decide that maybe I should have another beer first and then it's back in the rut, wheels spinning and making the mess, messier. 
Then I start dreaming about my campaing to run the world and get more frustrated with the poorly ran political machinary in this place.  Bear with me here...
Felix's jump from a space balloon, putting a giant rover on Mars, and splintering electrons are all insanely cool things that have happened in the past few months.  We have the knowledge and ability to provide for all people.  We have the means to take society many steps toward utopia and allow ourselves to focus on the learning that makes individuals to be better people.  So much of a real progress is bogged down by self-serving interests.  The real tragedy is that the most altruistic forms of work would benefit the self the most.  Leaders want to be respected and loved.  They want to be seen as above mortal and adored.  One who leads by force will never achieve the reverence than the one who feeds all of his people.  When CEOs, govenors, presidents, and prime ministers realize this truth, they may change the settings of the structure so that it grows toward a more supportive and fruitful future.  Crime, hunger, and evil will always remain as they are a part of the human condition but we should not stop trying to end any of this evils. 
Embracing our abilities to be hyperproductive and effecient would be a genuine step towards the dream.
I shall add more to this later but I must prepare some material for 7th graders.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

musings of the variety today

I'm procrastinating on work I need to be doing.  I'm not even writing about the things that most interest me lately, but on that which is presently on my mind.  I read a CNN article about high prices and signs of the new day.  For some reason, I followed reading the article by reading some of the comments.  It all led me to thinking...What may be most lost in the modern political discussion of the masses is the belief in the individual.  Everyone points to a group, a party, another entity.  They speak of changes in broad spectrums and have lost their own individual identity.  The American Experiment is built upon a belief in free will.  Those that designed the system knew that free will is a dream but it may be a possible one.  One must work toward that dream.  Knowledge is necessary, as is a life that provides physical needs....More to come, gotta study on early childhood literacy.