Getting To Truth

Worlid Lies Truth

So I saw this quote on someone’s t-shirt.


Immediately, I thought this is pretty smart and took a mental photo. 

World

– Lies

Truth

I suppose the question is how much of the world we live in are lies and fallacies to deceive individuals or the masses. 


Lies made up by liars, driven by materialism and greed, by people seeking or taking power, lies to enslave others in thought and deed, lies to get people to do what we want them to or to get them to follow us blindly, lies to get our way or to get others to abandon theirs, lies to cheat, lies to steal, lies to corrupt, lies to control, lies to obscure or cover our tracks, lies to rewrite history, lies to create phony legacies, lies for the sake of lying. 


All the rest is the truth. 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Video Chat TMI

This is a new video chat service from Airtimeand the music and video make it look pretty good, but I have my sincere reservations.

Airtime connects as an app from Facebook and according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11-17 June 2012), “users can then talk to their Facebook friends, search for someone with similar interests, or just hit the ‘next’ button to find a random chat partner.”

While, I find the idea of randomly engaging online with someone intriguing, I also more find it more than a little scary not knowing who they reallyare–there are plenty of fraudsters, charlatans, and perverts out there that you would not want to be talking to.

The not so funny thing is that the precursor to Airtime called Chatroulette–was truly, as the name implies, a gamble and many times a bad one at that, with some unscrupulous users availing themselves of the video to expose themselves online.

Frankly, it seems that many people may be using these applications more as swingers to hook up, have a fling, and engage in flirtatious or even sexual behavior than for developing any sort of real meaningful relationships.

Furthermore with Airtime, based I assume on people’s Facebook profiles, “as two users converse, Airtime suggests interests and common friends they may have in common”–with these actually popping up on your screen!

Whatever happened to any sort of privacy and discretion in sharing and letting conversations and relationships evolve naturally and over time between people rather than forced and in your face!

To me even the concept of having to use video when chatting is over-rated! I think most people do notfeel all that comfortable in front of the camera and are actually more at ease talking without being viewed every moment through a lens.

I have seen cameras deployed for desktop computers that were hardly ever used. And even with Apple’s Facetime application built right into the iPhone, I rarely ever see anyone actually using this–do you?

I think this is a clear lesson with technology that just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.

We need to take into account people feelings and their comfort zone, especially when it comes to privacy, and not just put them in front of every camera and float their personal interests and friends randomly or regularly.

“Discretion is the better part of valor” and it’s time to appreciate technology and social media companies and applications that recognize this and roll out services that are respectful of people privacy, security, and right to have some control over their lives.

Warnings: When It’s Not Just “Crying Wolf”

Warnings

There is a famous saying that “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

An editorial appeared in the Wall Street Journal (10 April 2012) by French philosopher Pascal Bruckner called The Ideology of Catastrophe” that accuses those who warn others of danger as having “tiny minds who wish us suffering.”

This “philosopher” maligns both Jewish prophets and Christian “millenarian movements” for having “no function other than indignation…and [the Prophet] becomes intoxicated with his own words and claims a legitimacy with no basis.”

Mr. Bruckner must be completely clueless of those throughout history that have sought to warn us of dangers that if the world would but have listened, untold numbers of millions could have been saved.

From the earliest of times, there have been warnings about pending catastrophes and those that paid attention were able to make a difference.

In the Torah (Bible), G-d warned Noah of the impending flood, and Noah was able to save humankind and animals–2 by 2 they went unto the ark for 40 days and nights of pouring rain that vanquished the earth.

In the Prophets, G-d has Yonah (after being swallowed by the whale) warn the the inhabitants of Nineveh to repent and prevents them and their city from destruction.

In the 20th century, if only the world had paid attention to the genocidal desires of maniacs like Adolph Hitler (may his name be cursed) in books like Mein Kampf, how many tens of millions may have been spared.

In terms of the advent of nukes and other weapons of mass destructions, to at least some extent people and governments have listened to warning and retreated from a philosophy of mutually assured destruction (MAD) to instead move toward anti-proliferation, arms reduction treaties, and other safeguards, and we have thank G-d been able to avoid major catastrophes from these dangers.

Thankfully, with dire medical issuances about various diseases, pandemics, and even warning about the dangers of obesity, smoking, and drinking, we have been able to curb harmful behaviors, promote healthier living, and lengthen life spans.

Similarly, with environmental warnings, we have been able to create awareness and educate people on more sustainable living–through conservation, recycling, reuse, as well as renewable energy sources, and more.

Moreover, warnings about runaway spending and the national deficit have been heard for decades, but having ignored these for the most part, we now face a $16,000,000,000,000 bill and growing rapidly–soon coming due to future generations of Americans.  And we are already witnessing the effects–inflation, unemployment, default, and perhaps succession from the Euro and the EU itself–of countries on the other side of the Atlantic that have made the similar errors in their wild spending ways.

While some corporate, religious, and political leaders do use fear tactics to gain power or whatever they are personally-seeking that does not make every warning false and malevolent.

Certainly, at the other end of the spectrum, some people would rather live in denial of any issues and pretend that everything is just hunky-dory all the time.

Bruckner does makes some superficial and one-sided arguments–denouncing warnings and claiming that:

– Warnings cause fear, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

– Warnings “though they try to awaken us…eventually deadens us.”

– People who warn “do not [really] intend to warn us as much as to condem us.”

– Leaders issue warnings “to dazzle us in order to make us docile.”

Unfortunately, Bruckner has failed to distinguish between fear-mongering and fact.

Bruckner missed the point of how real warnings can help people–which is through changing hearts, minds, and behaviors.

1) Fear is not a self-fulfilling prophecy unless people do not act in time to change dangerous and irresponsible behaviors.

2) Genuine warnings do not deaden those who seek truth and a way forward–it only deadens those who are unwilling or unable to adapt.

3) People who warn based on facts and with sincerity to help others do not wish to condem us–rather they wish to alleviate unnecessary suffering.

4) Leaders who issue warnings to alert people to very real dangers out there in order to seek safety or change course are not trying to dazzle and make docile, but rather they seek to save lives by creating awareness, educating, and empowering people to change before it is too late.

Some people understand well from history as well as from common sense that our behaviors have consequences–other do not.

For me, when we stray into dangerous waters, I am glad for the true heros out there looking out for us and helping guide us live better and longer lives.

While it is good to be critical of unfounded warnings and charlatans, it is necessary to have warnings that are grounded in fact, given sincerely, not forced on others, and help people stay successfully on the road to health, prosperity, and human rights.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Alex Peruso)

>When Butterflies Sting

>

Butterfly

Stage freight (aka “performance anxiety”) is one the most common phobias.

While often attributed to children, this is really a fear that everyone experiences–to a greater or lessor extent.

Organizations like Toastmasters help people overcome their fear of public speaking by having them practice regularly in front of the group.

Yet even the most experienced speakers and performers still get that knot in their stomach before a really big performance.

We are all human, and when we go out there and open ourselves up to others, we are vulnerable to ridicule and shame and being seen as shysters and charlatans.

So it really takes great courage to go out there and “do your thing” in front of the world–for better or worse.

As the child poet, Rebecca says, “when I go on stage, it’s me, myself, and I.

What a wonderful perspective in being yourself and doing your best.

Here’s what she has to say–in a poem called Butterflies.

(Credit Picture: scienceray.com)

________________________________

Butterflies

By Rebecca

Butterflies, that’s what I feel before the poetry slam.

It’s 2 minutes before I read my poem.

I feel them tickling around my stomach making me want to puke.


My mom always tells me just imagine the audience in their underwear but it makes me feel even worse.

I told myself when I came up here you’ll do fine but, I know I’ll just stumble on a word.

Buzzing noises start in my ear.

I feel like I want to just go up on the stage and conquer my fear.

I shouldn’t care what people say because it’s my thoughts that matters.

When I go onstage it’s me, myself, and I.

1 minute till showtime.


Finally I hear my name.

I walk up to the stage unsteadily and all the lights are on me.

Everyone’s eyes beam towards me, almost as if they are watching a movie and I’m the show.

I read my poem.

I’m shaking.

I’m sweating like a dog running in the heat of summer.


I stumble upon a few words, but I survive it.

I am almost done. Just be done, already.

I read the last sentence but the time when I’m reading that sentence feels the longest.

My life is not going to end.

I’m done and I feel accomplished.