Posted by: D. | 10/19/2009

Someone finally tells it like it is.

First off, you know the drill by now.

For the first time in ages, I find myself without something witty to say.  Bear with me – that may change.

Here we are reading a British newsrag, and the first thing that strikes me is that it could have been written for nearly any paper in the world and still be accurate.  Sure we’d have to change a few words here and there – but the vexation that is opined about is as valid in the USA as it would be in South Korea.

The peeps of the world sure love to hate their politicians.  We bicker and fight with each other while they bicker and fight with their clique, and someone is eventually elected.  Those that vote for the winner celebrate and proceed to guild said winner’s scat with gold, while the “losers” watch and scheme until the next cycle.

The faces and names come and go, but there is one constant that is unavoidable.  Us.

That’s right.  WE are the problem with democracy.  We the bickering, petty, dishonest, lazy, thin-skinned, hypocritical, douchebags that then elevate one of these also-douchebags to the fore in the hope he will do what WE want.

Never mind that most people can’t even agree on how to put up a new fence with their neighbor.  Forget that in most Urban areas, two groups of people with differing mindsets are usually streetgangs.  Forget that for every on-topic post in nearly every forum on the web, there are 12 more from idiots, perverts, or just plain old “for the lulz” retards.  Forget that when just about anyone you do not personally know (and most that you do) tell you to do something, you’re first (hopefully inner) reaction is to tell them to fuck off.

Did we somehow forget that we elect members of OUR communities to make the big decisions?  Would we REALLY be happy in a world in which whenever the Iranians get pissy we stop buying oil?  And that’s just one teeny-tiny little tip of the iceberg on this subject.

We live in a world in which the right decisions will never be right to some.  The wrong decisions have become the place keepers for real progress, and we actually have the gall to EXPECT our elected dumbasses to pick OUR voice out over the veritible ocean of screaming faces they deal with every single day.

No wonder they only bother listening to the ones that buy them lunches and hookers.  At least there will be some tangible (if short-term) benefit to doing something everyone will talk shit about anyway.

We are all going to die, and we have only ourselves to blame.

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First, catch up.

Words…fail me right now.  Maybe pictures will help.

BurjDubai-A06

This monstrousity is the Burj Dubai, at the end of this year, it will be completed – and officially the tallest building in the world.  At 2,684 feet tall, it will be visible for miles and miles.  It’s estimated completion cost will be 4.1 BILLION dollars…

hydropolis

This, is the Hydropolis, another mega-project.  A $5000 dollar a night underwater hotel that will also be completed near the end of this year.  Price tag: 300 million pounds.

falconcity_of_wonders

Here, we have a crappy picture of the Falcon city of wonders, another 1.5 billion dollar, 40 MILLION square foot development (halted in April of 2009 due to the economic crisis).

the_world_dubai

Lastly, we have the world dubai, a series of 300 or so manmade islands 4Km off of the coast, arranged in the shape of the world.  Estimated price tag?  14 BILLION dollars as of 2005.  Construction also halted recently due to poor economic climate.

Now…I am no muslim-hating xenophobic fruit job.  I do not blame any but those who desrve blame for the war on terror.  I find the culture of Islam fascinating – much like it’s peoples.  However…

When you have mega-construction projects of this magnitude, cradle-to-grave social welfare for all, extensive state controlled industry, and one of the highest standards of living in the world, there would seem to be little moral high ground to stand upon when declaring that the world’s unified efforts to prevent your country from sinking into the sea is going to make the government lose less than 1/4 of what these projects cost.

Maybe one would be better off rethinking their internal priorities…

Posted by: D. | 10/05/2009

Living in a world of polar extremes

First, educate yourself:

Cognitive Dissonance (via wikipedia)

This is the feeling of general malaise that so many of us poor bastards have to live with.  It comes from having to compromise on virtually everything you do during your typical day.

To give you a simple example.  What did you have for lunch today?  25% of you ate fast food.  Just like you do everyday.  God only knows how many there were counting those who’s “day” was today.

You knew when you ordered it that it was unhealthy right?  Don’t fool yourself, even the so called “healthy” options are crap compared to what you could’ve made at home.  Tasted good though, didn’t it?  So how did you reconcile the yummy goodness with the fact that you likely just nom-nommed 3-5 minutes off of your life?  Consumed 40 grams of fat (or more!) in one sit down? 

Shall we even get into the carbon footprint of that fat-bomb.  The dissonance occurs when your mind and body try to reconcile the yummy goodness of that big Mac with the knowledge that it was absolutely awful for you.

Another example, that feeling you get when you see someone who needs your help, and you choose not to help – correctly (likely) assuming that “someone else” will help them out.  For hours afterwards you will idly think about that, and your brain chastises you for being a jerk, while your body tenses and relaxes while you play out the likely scenarios internally.

It’s fascinating stuff.  Your mind – even subconsciously can “see” and “hear” things that are meaningless to you at the time.  Or sometimes, it can just hotwire itself to a seemingly irrelevant emotion or event.  Here is a study  where they started with perfectly normal people, and “convinced” them that they had once – long ago, eaten SO much ice cream that they threw up horrifically.  During, and even after the study, these folks still get nauseous at the thought of eating it – and it’s a fake memory!

Oh well.  There is nothing that would surprise me anymore.  We humans are capable of stunning highs, as well as depressing lows.

Feel free to contact me at donny0877@hotmail.com if you would like to see a particular subject crammed into my kaleidoscope.  Keep your sick minds away from that last sentence!

First off, learn something.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequentialism

This whole stub is fascinating.  Here we see our morals and ethics with all of the niceties of emotion and such stripped bare.  This statement, and it’s inverse could possibly say more about a person than any other measure one can think of.

There are countless iterations of this theme – perhaps you’ve heard that “To make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs?”  This is one of my favorite versions, as it has the secondary effect of completely removing the human aspect from the equation.  After all, we all know you have to break the eggs to make an omelet, so just think of the propsective yummy omelet – pay no mind to the fact that those eggs who had no choice in the matter, and would likely beg to differ if they did.

Words, words, words…but what does it all mean!     Eugenics!

Oh noes!  He said the E word!  He must be hitler!  Or worse, a well meaning democrat!  RUN!  HIDE THE CHILDREN!

But wait.  Once again, educate yourself.  To break down eugenics to it’s most salient point, it is the “self-direction of human evolution”.  What exactly DOES that mean?  It turns out, a lot of different things.  Without throwing out there, such Nietzschean concepts as good, evil, and supermen, it means changing humanity (for the better?) through self-direction, and with purpose.  Would you like your kids to be smarter, faster, and resistant to the myriad of diseases and maladies that currently plague us?  Of course you do.  But how can we do that? 

I know my mind on this, and if you want to know more, you’ll simply have to ask the difficult questions.  To help you with that, let me ask a few of you.

1.)  If it were possible to completely eradicate a genetic, specifically hereditary disease, would it be worth any cost?  Cystic fibrosis?  Downs syndrome?  Colon cancer? (that last is not specifically hereditary – but still…) by sterilizing the folks that carry the dormant genes – would you do it?

2.)  Lets talk criminality.  How about mandatory summary execution for anyone convicted of say, 3 violent crimes during their lifetime.  After all, how many times can you kill or maim someone before society has the right to remove you from it.  3 strikes law, indeed.

3.)  Anyone with a demonstrated IQ of under 90 (the low end of “normal“) would be humanely euthanized, so as to not burden society with their lifetime care or faulty genes.

4.)  Your healthcare is free until you hit a predetermined lifetime amount – lets say, for sake of argument – a million dollars.  After that point, you are triaged, and will not be treated for any illness or injury.

So what do you think?  Let me guess, I’m a monster just for thinking about it?  LOL!  Why?  Would you allow a healthy child with a traumatic injury to die due to lack of care, simply to allow your disabled child to continue being disabled?

Should I, a healthy citizen who makes good choices in my life, not be allowed to reap the benefits?  And by benefits, I mean not having to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of people who shouldn’t even be drawing the same air?  In a perfect world, there would be infinite resources to draw upon, and this discussion would be moot.  Alas, we live in a very imperfect world, with very finite resources.

Should needy children go without, just so we can support a prison system full of people who are doing nothing but daydreaming about their next crime?  Or a hospital full of “special needs” adults whom require constant 24/7 skilled care?  Babies born with aids? 

Aww hell.  I done got you all riled up.  What was it that broke the camels back?  It was the babies, huh?  The Downs kids?  It really doesnt matter when you get down to it.  Let’s move on to lesson #2

How’s about instead of Downs kids, we euthanize all of the sex offenders?  Murderers?  Car thieves?  Prostitutes?

Instead of the >IQ 80 folks, how’s about we substitute illegal immigrants, or blacks, or chinese?

In fact, lets boil it down to the bare nuts and bolts.  If we have to ration healthcare or any other essential resources, so that only one in three will recieve, say, the current standard – which two would you choose euthanize to get yours?  How about your wife?  Kid(s)?  Brother?  Sister?  Sweet neighbor lady?  Who would you give that power, if not you?  Or would you freely sacrifice yourself?

There will come a time when these choices will have to be made.  Whether it be quality medical care, food, or even jobs – the tough choices will not just disappear simply because nobody wants to have their name associated with them.

SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!

 

 

 

 

How can the fairy collective surprise the sin?

It has become more apparent with each passing day that the polarization in our society has increased markedly over the last 10 years.  It has never been so evident as it is with the introduction of the internet as a common denominator in media, opinion, and advertising.

Don’t believe me?  You shouldn’t.  Everyone has a spin.Then again, I may be lying.  Example.  Where do YOU get your news?  You know, those talking points that you trot out at the watercooler so you can impress that hot little minx from accounting?  Where do you go to keep up on world-or even just us happenings so you will know what the other talking heads you bump into daily are spouting off about?

MSNBC?  Liberal.

CNN?  Moderate Liberal.

FOXNews?  Conservative.

AP Newswire?  Undecided and confused.

We all have our own unique stance on any particular issue.  We agree with others for our own personal reasons, and sometimes those reasons are just to fit in.  As such, we are generally pretty picky about the slant given to our “facts”.  Don’t believe me?  Read the same news article on MSNBC and FOXnews.  REALLY look at them.  Side by side if you need to.  Sounds like two completely different events, doesn’t it?  One thinks Obama’s latest speech was a masterpiece, the other can’t stop talking about how desperate he sounds. 

I submit to you, that there is no longer any such thing as truly unbiased news.  The media has found that only angry, scared, or smug readers are likely to return, and they have made those their target demographics.   Why?  Because they are people.  People who see things their own, unique way.  People who are doing jobs, to make MONEY.  You make money when lots of people read and talk about your articles.  You make money when you drive web traffic to your “host’s” site.  Make sense?

Problem is, it is killing us as a people.  We can’t get any meaningful reforms done because of all of the noise. 

FACT:  Sarah Palin has singlehandedly disrupted the debate (not the effort) on health care reform by LYING about government “Death-Panels”.  They simply do not exist, nor would they.  Correction.  They do exist – right now.  They are the unnamed bunch of bean-counters that decide whether to approve or deny your insurance claim.  They are the ones that decide that the medical procedure that MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE is too expensive, and will cost the stockholders $.30 of their precious dividends.  Where is the outrage?  Why isn’t the marvelous MILF herself objecting to these?  Far easier to prey on the FEAR and ANGER of the average American so she can get another 1,000 facebook friends.  Did I mention she is on the lucrative private speaking circuit – as well as writing a book?

If I was to tell you that the Governor’s next budget contained an appropriation of 6 million dollars to euthanize puppies with cinderblocks, would YOU get all offended and tell EVERYONE you know about it?  Would you start donating money to anyone who “promises” to do something about it?  Would you write letters and stir up more moral outrage to do something about it?

Or would you track down a copy of the bill and see for yourself. 

One hint:  One of these hints requires actually thinking for yourself and making a logical determination – also known as critical thinking.  As such, I submit to you, that most people will choose the former.

My faith in the fallibility of manking has few bounds, whenever I begin to question that, I need only turn on the TV.

Posted by: organicisforsuckers | 09/23/2009

“Organic” is for suckers…or is it?

Once upon a time, a group of people had an idea.  They wanted to eat food that wasn’t loaded with pesticide residues.  On further reflection, they also decided that they wanted their food to be grown in a sustainable way.  The commercial agribusiness snickered to itself, and ignored them.

Things changed when these people added the kicker:  “We’ll pay extra…”  This immediately got agribusiness interested.  “How much extra?”  they wondered to themselves.  And so began the modern day business of Organic labelling. 

Is this a problem?  After all, we are getting what we want, right?  What if we aren’t?  What if the same megacorporations that are poisoning us with their pre-chewed and digested, processed, enriched, and build specifically to make you want more are the same ones now selling us on “organic”.  You trust them, right?  Because our major food providers have always been looking out for our interests, right? (note – this wasnt meant to be a list of evil corporate shenigans, more of a primer to make you think, and see that “organic” is still a subject of hot debate.)

Add to that the many other controversies, regarding land useage, animal rights, and even the definition of the word…and it can get downright confusing, when all you want is to feed you and your family REAL food.

So what are we to do?  Educate yourself!  I know it’s inconvenient, in this day and age of sloth, fat, and instant gratification, but if you actually CARE – do something about it!  As you can see here, here, here, and here – you likely don’t even know what your getting with that cute little green sticker, but I’m sure you THINK you do.

Argue with me.  Disagree with me.  Call me a schill (for which side? lol).  Just use your noodle!

Posted by: D. | 09/23/2009

Piss off, and take some ashes with you.

So here we have a recent study, in which the wonderful people at the university of Kuopio have shown that the major Biochemical companies may not have quite the stranglehold over agricultural development as they thought they did.  This study has found that common human urine, bottled for a month or so to kill any microbial lifeforms present (Hepatitus and the like), and then added to commonly found wood ash, creates an awesome fertilizer that is just as effective as the current commercial varieties.

This is pretty amazing stuff.  One of the biggest hurdles to agriculturally developing the third world, has been the cost and logistics.  Here you have A.)  Urine that everyone produces and B.)  Wood ash from the fires that are still predominantly used to cook foods with.  I’ll bet Monsanto and Dow are just as happy as can be 🙂

So besides the obvios applications in a third-world economy, what else does this give us?  Well, urine in our wastewater stream contains 80% of the Nitrogen and 45% of the phosphorus content of the entire stream, this despite the fact that urine (by volume) only makes up appx. 10-15% of the total.  Should these nutrients be removed from the waste stream and recycled back into a food production cycle.  That is not even accounting for the lower amount of nutrients being dumped ito waterways, where they do little but feed algae and bacteria.

Most importantly, this is a process that can be done at home!  Yes, there is an ick factor, but have we really become such whining wusses that we can’t handle a little piss now and again?  One thing I am rather curious about is whether this interaction would hold true with the previously mentioned Bio-Char.  I sense an experiment coming on 🙂

First off – Educate yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar

Bio-char, a snappy name for making charcoal out of…pretty much any organic matter, is apparently a process that has been around since we were still cutting out people’s hearts for the sun.  That’s right!  The ancient civilizations of central america used this material to make the notoriously nutrient-poor soils of the rainforest into Terra Preta.

So why does this matter?  Why should you, the “average joe” citizen/consumer care?  It’s simple:

By sequestering carbon, in this case for possibly thousands of years, we can attempt to mitigate the effects we as a race are having on the planet.  This is where I usually lose people.  After all, Global Warming is a lie right?

Well, I’m going to save that particular debate for a future post sure to bring out the loonies.  Until then, lets just agree that we are dumping cubic-ape-assloads of CO and CO2 into the atmosphere without REALLY knowing what the effects of that will be.  Seems to me that it would be a good idea (to hedge our bets at the least) to have a mechanism in place that would allow us to pull it back out if needed.  Agreed?

Besides, on top of the whole carbon sequestration thing, it has the added benefit of improving soil quality  by leaps an bounds.  And we’re not talking about single season benefits like fertilization.  The black soils of the amazon are still fertile as hell nearly 5000 years later!

If you would like to learn more about BIO-CHAR, please see these other excellent sites around the web.

http://www.biochar.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=3

http://www.biocharsystems.com/index.html

http://carbonscape.com/

http://www.clt.astate.edu/elind/charcoalvalentine.htm

Do you jump?  Do you nervously laugh, and back away?  Did you avoid being here in the first place?

I decided tot take the plunge. 

Allow me to introduce myself.  I am DreamsofGreen.  I am a 30-something civil servant who has decided that in the battle to save the earth, the earth needs all the help it can get.

My purpose here is to try and pull together some of the disparate elements of the green revolution and make a (hopefully) palatable sausage out of them that the “everyman” can try and make sense of.  It’s a complicated world, and shows no signs of becoming less so anytime soon.

As such, I plan to link to, and provide commentary on, other blogs and websites that I can relate to with one goal – to show you all that you CAN do something about our environment without selling all your stuff and joining greenpeace. 

I look forward to meeting, teaching, and learning from you.  Thank you.

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