Ideas

The Real Solution To Climate Change!

If you aren’t sure about this, try sucking on a tailpipe! Or think about rolling coal. Why do people even do this?

The answer to this question is yes, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy topic to talk discuss. Like anything in life, it is incredibly complicated, especially when it comes to solving problems that have so many consequences that affect so many people.

The first thing I want to get out of the way is to say the marketing of the issue is lacking. We have all seen the hockey stick graph, and we know the arguments for it and against it. Well, most people don’t take the arguments against too seriously, but that is another topic.

I say this because describing the problem of global warming, sorry, I mean climate change is complicated. It takes a leap of faith of sorts, to accept it. Yet, when you think of the stuff that comes out of a tailpipe, the problem is apparent.

Now that we have got that out of the way, there are a few things that I find problematic. A big one is that we often only look at data for the last hundred years or so. This isn’t to discredit that data. In the past, which is millions of years, there have been times when it was much hotter, and there was more carbon.

We Hardly Know The Past

This chart gets me caught up on the issue. You can see global temperatures have been much hotter in the past. But we often find it convenient to disregard this fact. Of course, it was a different time, and things were different. But if we are looking at the facts, this is important cause it suggests that global temperatures can have nothing to do with human activity. But I suppose we could be the second iteration of humanity, as the first one already destroyed itself with climate change in the past.

This, though, makes me skeptical of the historical data, real reliable records have been kept over the last hundred or so years. Anything beyond that is speculation, of course, the data is based on science, but it isn’t as reliable as we would like to think.

There is a lot about the past that we don’t know or understand, so when we look at temperature change, it is a very time local thing. Now I guess, you would say, its not about temperature, but carbon dioxide, and that is a good point, but that data could also be questioned.

Another thing is that when I look at my local climate data centres, they are both located in the city. 50 or 60 years ago, those places would have had much less development. They would not have been locked in a so-called concert jungle when the data started being collected. This isn’t to say that the data is terrible, but it does suggest that we are looking at something that is more about urbanization than the overall climate.

My next criticism is that we have to consider that science could be saying what we should do rather than what is right. This, of course, would be a complicated argument to make and support. But in the age of Post-Normal science, it isn’t something that can be entirely written off.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying this problem isn’t real. Only that the ‘popular’ science of it is complicated, disregards specific facts and opens up a whole lot of avenues for dispute. Realistically, this is a complex issue that most people don’t have the data or tools to understand.

For this reason, we need a better approach. But hey, I’m a guy on the internet who is going to be called a climate change denier. By the way, why did they call it global warming before? Why did they change the name?

Now that we know the issue and where I stand, it is an excellent time to look at some other factors involved. A big thing is the sources of all this carbon. The most significant contributor is China, followed by the USA and India.

Population Sizes

Population sizes have a lot to do with this, and there is no doubt about that. But there is something essential to consider, and that is that as China and India get more ‘advanced,’ they might become even more substantial sources of carbon.

No doubt, there is better technology today than ever before, and that will help keep things clean. But we can’t be sure that limiting carbon is fair to all countries involved. Let’s say we in the west were permitted to make a mess of the planet to get to where we are today. Next, we will be telling other countries who are trying to get to the same place that they aren’t allowed. To some extent, this is a moral question, but it is also a question of fairness. So, what is fair in this case?

Another thing to consider is that much of America’s manufacturing and dirty work is sent overseas to places like China. So at least some of the waste coming from China is the USA’s contribution. But it’s not only America, but it is also advanced nations taking advantage of the ‘labour costs’ there.

That said, many western nations have the highest carbon outputs per person. So in a way, this problem is a result of western lifestyles. Also, although some countries are creating more waste, the lifestyles of the west are considerable contributors to the problem. Or so it seems. Even so, you could say we are cleaning up our act by using better technologies and creating less waste per person, though our totals are still high.

In this case, a solution could be sharing our technology with developing nations, thus giving them cleaner solutions developed in developed countries. The idea here is that clean solutions should be shared.

Globalization A Huge Problem

A massive contributor to carbon and greenhouses gases is cars and cows. But an even bigger problem is transporting stuff all around the world. Is globalization bad? Should we discourage travel? Should we eat less meat? We can only do so much, given the options available to us, but those are noble causes, right?

Recently there have been protests around the world where people have been blocking bridges and roads. Now, this is a compelling tactic, but it is counter-intuitive. Blocking cars during rush hour means idling cars, creating more greenhouse gasses than they would have otherwise.

But we can’t blame people for trying. But in all seriousness, this points to a curious problem with modern-day life.

Many people use their cars to go to work. That causes vast amounts of greenhouse gases to get produced. Yet at the same time, in my city, it is difficult to find an affordable place to live. So many people have no choice but to live far away and commute to work. I know many people use public transportation, but that isn’t always a good solution. For many people, it doesn’t work, especially when affordable housing tends to be far away from public transit. After all, that is part of the reason why it is affordable.

What is the solution? Should we stop going to work? That would help. After all, what proportion of people could work from home? Realistically, many of the problems with transportation and waste are created by schedules and the need to be in specific places to do work. Think about cities; they almost exclusively exist for work. So many restaurants and coffee shops wouldn’t need to exist if people didn’t need to work away from their homes.

But that goes against the interests of the industry. In any case, keeping a seat warm and showing your face is more important than what you contribute and do.

We Need Different Solution

Modern problems need modern solutions, so we should all stop going to work. Or at the very least, work should change. Think about how much of the ‘carbon’ problem would be solved if people didn’t go to work? I’ve read that commercial buildings use something like 30 to 40% of all electricity. Image how much we waste by transporting people to and from work and then having them hang out in crowded buildings that need to be heated and cooled year-round. On top of that, how efficient can a big glass building be?

If we stopped going to work, we wouldn’t need so many offices or cars, we’d need less public transportation, and we would need less stuff in general. But here comes the bad news, taking all this stuff from the city would permanently kill the economies of cities. Damn, a complicated solution.
Another thing we can do to help is to stop buying stuff. So much of the things we buy have little to no value or meaning.

On top of that, lots of it comes from China, which creates carbon due to being shipped across the ocean twice.

In truth, a considerable part of the problem is globalization, which also happens to be the reason why more people than ever before are living outside of poverty. Again, a complicated solution, but still stop buying imported stuff.

Another solution I’ve heard suggested is that we should stop having kids. But that is already happening naturally in western nations. For example, in Canada, if we didn’t have immigration, our population would be decreasing. Now, I’m not saying I’m against immigration. Only that if we are going to tell people to stop having kids, which makes no sense, then immigration also doesn’t make sense.

Some people suggest having no kids will helps the problem. But it is not developed western nations where populations are growing; they are shrinking if you don’t include immigration.
Another thing to consider on the population front is that there are these weird slabs in the state of Georgia in the USA. They suggest that the world population should remain under 500 million people. If the green movement is to have its population control, then they shouldn’t be looking to these slabs for numbers advice.

The most common suggested solution appears to be a carbon tax, which makes sense a little. If we have to pay a tax on the carbon we create, then we will be incentivized to produce less. But, like most of the things I suggested above, we don’t have much choice about work or the products available to us in stores. It would seem that we will be burdened with more taxes and little way to avoid them.

It is not like I can stop driving my car to the places that I need a car to get to. Or that I can get fresh fruits and vegetables in the middle of the winter that doesn’t come from 1000 miles away.

Taxes Fix Everything, Right?

A carbon tax sounds excellent on paper, but when it comes to paying more taxes, while wages stay the same, how can we expect to improve our lives? I want to protect the environment, and I do the best that I can, but I can’t afford to pay more taxes.

You could argue that the companies are going to innovate, but will they? If we have to pay it and everyone else is doing the same thing, they have little incentive to innovate. I mean, moving a factor from China to America then cleaning it up, is that good for the bottom line of a company when the alternative is you paying a carbon tax?

Recently climate change has been widespread in the news, and there have been protests and events around the world. What I wonder is, why is this happening now? Or why has it become a pressing issue recently?

Put on your conspiracy hat, cause I’ve got a theory. The powers that be see that the economies around the world are slowing down, and they need a solution. The best solution is to create new industries, sure they ‘care’ about the environment, but what they want is money. Now that we have a problem, they have a solution to create more things so that we can buy a clean economy, sorry, I mean environment.
The solution is green tech and green globalism. New globalism, but this time, it is green. This isn’t all bad, cleaning up the environment is a great side effect, even if it isn’t the intention. But will it help, or is this solution more consumerism with a different name.

This Is A Real Problem

If you’ve read between the lines, then you know we need to change the way we live our lives. Working in a city doesn’t make sense anymore, especially when the technology to avoid it already exists. We can also buy less, live more straightforward, and commute less.

The solutions being offered to us come down to more consumerism, so more buying, but green stuff instead. Is that heading in the right direction? I don’t think so.

I’m dreaming of a better world that makes more sense. But how can we do that? How can we take back our planet and make better choices? How do we fight back against the powers that be and those pushing us in the wrong direction?
Does history repeat? Are we modern-day dinosaurs? Are we the slow-moving iceberg? Or will we become something new, something better?

If we want to be the solution, it is going to take more than carbon taxes. It is going to take considerable changes in the way we think about things and live our lives. We are already living in the future, so why aren’t we doing something about it?

The system is broken, and politicians don’t have any real solutions. How far are you willing to go to solve this problem?

But what do I know? I’m just some guy from the internet.

Walk Talk #4 – What We Should Do vs. What We Want To Do

– The things we need to do to go to work, like the costs, rent, transportation, nearness, taxes
– How we raise our children, by getting jobs to pay to put them in daycare, vs rasing them and not paying for daycare.
– Daycare is absurd, but it is relatively new, and it is what we are told we are supposed to do.
– I’ve never understood this game we play, why do we have to work? Yet most people believe in it and don’t have any questions.
– Maybe I’m an exception for wanting to be free to do as I wish, but also, not being used to it makes it hard.
– Kids are one of the most meaningful things in life, but society seems to be designed in a way that having kids seems like an irrational choice.
– Two people need to work to keep the machine going, it used to be easier, sort of.
– What are we supposed to do? Just keep working till we die?
– Dreaming about breaking my phone in half, but why? Maybe being bord, we fill our time.
– Is a phone an escape from our lives, yet phones are toxic.
– Our environments can shape us in negative ways, it could be in rebellion to our place.
– Our parents were wrong? What they told us to do before doesn’t make sense anymore.
– We are losing trust in our institutions for different reasons.
– A strange contradiction, in that we need money to escape, yet we need to play the game to get the money to escape. Money is the solution.
– Is this a paradox? Is this what we are supposed to do? This seems to conflict.
– Environmentalism and consumerism, and working, it kind of makes sense and breaks things.
– Things make sense, sort of, but then they don’t really make sense at all (going to a place to work).
– Why do we go to work to consume and destroy the ecosystem, which is against our interests and the worlds, but is for the system?
– We are like pigs or cows heading to slaughter.
– A weird paradox or a weird problem. Does it make sense?
– Family life, social life, conflicts with that. Yet totally makes sense in the economic sense.
– Do we do all of this because of the stories we have been told?
– Yet we all keep doing this.

10 Cent Cup Of Coffee

I see people talking about 20 cent cups of iced coffee, well here is the 10 cent cup of coffee. I wait for the coffee to be on sale, at $3 we buy a bunch. It lasts two weeks and we make 3 cups a day, that costs around 7 cents, add a little milk and sugar and we have 10 cent coffee.

Time is an Illusion; All of Time Exists now, Time is Repeating

Notes About Walk Talk

– Walking in a cemetery
Need to be in nature, trees and grass represent life, a place like this reminds me about the here and now
– I got my haircut, tried something new, the lady was really nice, complimented me on reading a book.
– Lady said I used to watch the show, Twilight Zone. In an episode, these people went into a room, and there were shelves of books. When they saw the books, they said, “What are these things?” After that, she asked, “How did they know that books would go away?”
– It made me think of a Philip K Dick interview
– Cellphones and tablets are like Scrying ‘Mirrors’
– I feel this weird sense of time while writing novels. Novels and stories feel like channelling other times and places.
– Handmaiden’s tale predicted online banking?
– Talk about a movie on Netflix, The Endless
– Repeating of life when you have work and a family, but that is for everyone.
– Repeating of life feels like we are not in control. Maybe thinking we don’t have power is what makes it feel like we aren’t in control.
– Life is a cycle, or we have faith that it is a cycle, and that is how we give it power.
– I found a gravestone with a name very similar to mine.

Is The Economy Headed To The Dumps?

Yes, but even a broken clock is right two times a day, at least that is how the saying goes. But how can I say this, what do I know about what is going on. It’s not like they’re tons of people living on the streets in the wealthiest country in the world.

I was talking to a co-worker about negative interest rates, he said, “that doesn’t even make sense; how is that possible.” And I said, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but it is a real thing. They even have negative mortgages in one of those Scandinavia countries. Then I said, there are trillions of dollars of negative-yielding bonds, and he asked, “What is a bond?” and I said, this is turning into a complicated conversation.

Negative Bonds

Bonds are debts that people promise to pay back. A lot of these negative bonds come from governments, so they are safer. Usually, the government/bank/company says, if you give me $100 now, ill give you $102 next year. But these negative bonds, say, give me $100 today, and I’ll give you $99 next year.

Now that we understand bonds, the bond yield curve inversion is also interesting. It shows what different term lengths of bonds pay. Currently, short term bonds pay better than long term ones. But that makes little sense because a long term loan is riskier than a short one, so it should pay better. On this chart, you can see that almost every time this happens, a recession follows.

There is this graph; it shows something like 17 trillion dollars worth of negative bonds. These are government bonds or government debt, so they can use the money to build bridges and schools. But they could also be wasting it on other things, who knows.

The thing is, why would anyone buy a negative bond? Is that a good question? My best guess is that they think rates will go lower later and these might be the best deals in town for a while. But it could also be that they don’t have a choice, some organizations need safe investments. If that is the case, they are likely your pension or someone else. But someone else must be buying this stuff, as so much of it has been purchased.

There is also something called QE, which stands for quantitative easing. Anytime I talk about this stuff with people; they look confused. I bought a sweater that says, “I heart QE.” My wife asked, what does it mean? I told her, but she was still confused, so I found a Japanese translation. That didn’t help at all either, so I confessed, “no one knows what it means, but it is easy to explain.”

Here Comes QE

QE means a government (central bank) is printing money, often lots of it. Central banks sometimes do this, and it is supposed to make everything better. It helped in 2008 when it prevented the collapse of everything we know. But everything is great now, right? So why are they doing it again? Well, not everyone is doing it yet, but the European central bank is / will.
There is also something called the Repo markets, which is overnight one-day loans. It is something like 50 – 60 billion dollars a day; it is kind of like ‘printing money’ so banks have money in there vaults… I guess banks don’t have money anymore; it is more like numbers on a screen.

Again, this stuff is complicated, but I can say it doesn’t seem healthy. Imagine it was time to pay your rent, and you said, oh, sorry, I need a payday loan every day this month to cover it. That doesn’t seem like a good idea, but I’m sure you will have enough money next month, right, sarcasm.

Some people would say, look at the stock market, it is soaring, it is the highest it has ever been! And, I’d have to agree, not everything is looking terrifying. But then most people don’t have much money in the stock market. And those who do, already have extra money to play around with. But remember QE, that is printing money, where do you think all that free money is going? I’d hazard a guess that at least some of it is going into the stock market.

Housing Prices

I live in Toronto, Canada, and housing prices have been soaring like mad here. I wish I could buy a house, but even a crappy house is unaffordable. We could move 2 hours away from work, but that doesn’t make sense, oh the choices we make.

My brother was a little quicker to get started at life, so he bought a house a few years ago. I’d say he paid a reasonable price for what he got, but now some of his neighbours are selling for twice as much as he paid. Their houses aren’t twice as good as his was eight years ago, but who knows. I’d suggest that our money is worth half as much as it was when he bought his house? But that doesn’t explain everything, that doesn’t even make sense considering everything else. Look at this chart of average house prices, it doesn’t make sense, to me at least.

There Are Jobs?

But wait, I’ve got more optimism, jobs; there are tones of jobs being created. All over the place, everywhere, jobs, jobs jobs. Look at this chart, its great news. But I don’t know about that, a lot of times these are part-time jobs. And how many people sign up for Uber and Lyft at the same time, does that mean they have two jobs? Two part-time jobs are more like one part-time job.

But even worse, do people want to drive for Uber? It’s like a reverse mortgage on your car, meaning it pays enough to cover the cost of the vehicle, but not much else. Plus, driving is stressful.

Don’t get me wrong, some people must like it, but I suspect most take the job because they have no other choice. On top of all this, what is going on with Uber, the company? Is it a money-losing machine?

The other day, I was looking at the favour business news site, and it was full of news about the CEO’s quitting or fired. If anything, I feel like a CEO or the heads at a big business would be the first to know things were going south… So it could be some sign of what is coming.

The news keeps mentioning that executives, insiders, and the rich are taking money out of stocks and holding cash. These are the type of people who know what is going on before the rest of us. But then again, they may need to pay taxes or buy a yacht and a second house. This isn’t proof of anything, its ‘tax’ season or something like that. But then again, is the news always honest about this kind of stuff?

There Is A Cycle Here

A big thing to keep in mind is that market booms and busts happen in a cycle. If you look at this chart, it is pretty typical for things to go up and then come down again. It’s a pretty obvious pattern. Of course, this time it is different! But that is always what people say before an expected thing happens.

Given that point, it has been the most extended boom in a long time, like ten years is a long time for a market cycle. Usually, they go up and down every eight years or so. But this time, it is different, look at it?

All this stuff is complicated, so I can’t pretend to know what it all means. In many ways, it is too much for one person to take in and make sense of.

How does a negative interest rate make sense? You are supposed to get paid money for lending money. When you borrow money, you have to pay, and when you save money, you should get paid interest. QE kind of makes sense; our money is always losing value.

People look to the news or authorities to tell them what is going on. I look at the internet, and I see lots of signs. But my sources aren’t the same as The New York Times. Who knows, and likely at this point, they are saying something is going on.

Rich people Know What Is Going On

The thing is, the big players, i.e., rich people, will do things before the rest of us plebs know what is going on. I saw a debate on Yahoo news about what was happening, but they will be the last to tell you what is going on.

Who wants to be wrong about this or be blamed for causing it? Given the risk, most people will keep their mouths shut until it is evident to everyone.

One thing I am curious about is the rise in gold and bitcoin prices. Since January, both these things have been going up. They are supposed to be hedges against an economic problem. This isn’t financial advice, but those things likely will go down with everything else. But when things get terrible, something has to rise out of the ashes.

All of this is complicated, so we can’t be expected to understand it all. But for something in your face and visceral, here is a picture of a $15 sandwich.
But then again, what do I know? It’s not like I’m an economist.

Walk Talk #2 – Authenticity and Climate Change

Could pull together the notes for this one, and sorry about the crappy pictures, my phone needs replacing.

This walk talk is about the authenticity, or more the challenges of living an authentic life. It also relates to how we might want to care and do things about climate change, but so many of the problems are out of our hands. To authentically challenge the climate problem, we pretty much have to check out of society, which is a challenge in itself.

UFOs and Aliens are Real?!?!?

Script:

Are UFOs real? Sorry, I mean UAP, sorry what? Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. What does that even mean? What’s the deal with changing the name? Is that suppose to suggest these things aren’t objects? What are they then? Like Holograms?

But these are real, here is a video coming from the navy. Well the story complicated, that guy from Blink 182 released the video, or did he? Dang, I don’t know what is going on here.

Anyhow, the most trusted name in the news, Popular Mechanics, says this was a real video, at least the navy confirmed it. But then that info is coming from some other site I’ve never heard off.

But wait, the real most trust name in the news, CNN also confirmed this… whoa, look at all these trackers and ad blocker warnings. Anyways, CNN also confirms the story, so this must be true, I don’t know where else I could go for more real news that CNN.

Oh, but wait, here is the BBC, maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but I do not see any such article. You’d think it would at the top.

Anyways, with all of this evidence, it is fair to assume that these UFO’s or UAP’s are real. Like they happen or have happened, look on the internet, there are tons of videos and pictures of UFOs. So I guess there is no doubt that UFOs are real. Well, at least kind of, clearly some of these google images are fake.

News Flash, UFO’s are REAL!

But what is a UFO? By gosh, I have no idea beyond the definition as an unidentified flying object. Well, that doesn’t help much, that isn’t any hard proof of anything, all it says is that they are unknown.

I guess they could be the military, or some kind of optical illusion, or some fancy drone, or a prank. A lot of those older pictures look like pranks. They are something, but what, I’ve got no idea, yet at least.

You know, I spend a lot of time looking up at the sky, like a lot of time, any chance I get. Over the summer, we took a week off and went to a cottage. I spent at least 30 minutes every night, staring up at the sky, and I never saw anything like a UFO. For sure, I saw some things that I assumed were satellites or airplanes, but outside of that, nothing unidentified.

I once talked to one of my old managers, he was convinced that he had seen a UFO. He said it had a strange shape and flew through the sky, unlike anything he had ever seen before.

He is a reasonable, trustworthy guy, so I have no reason to think he was lying to me. But when I told my wife about the story, she said “He was probably abducted by aliens and didn’t remember. They wouldn’t let you see them otherwise.” Great response, and a great story, but nothing we could call solid proof.

A big problem with UFO’s and aliens is that we are primed not to believe in them. Like if you told your friends you believed in aliens they would laugh at you, I guess it depends on your friends. Even the navy guys with the videos of UFO’s were afraid to talk about it. They thought they would be labelled crazy wing-nuts and not be allowed to do their jobs anymore.

Even worse, we have so much skepticism about stuff like this, and it is all over the place. For the most part, we only have fictional TV shows like the X-Files that humour the idea, and even that is a kind of comedy. Otherwise, you’ve got ancient aliens and the crazy hair guy on your side, so no one is taking that too serious.

I was talking to a guy at work about this, and I asked him if he believed in UFO’s or aliens. He is a smart guy, a very reasonable programmer and all that kind of stuff. He told me no way, these are UFO’s, unidentified flying objects, but that doesn’t make them aliens. For extraordinary claims, you need extraordinary evidence.

So I guess I’ve got a problem there, I can’t say these are aliens, cause I’ve got no evidence. But then I said, aren’t all the videos evidence of ET’s, or extra-terrestrials, he said ‘now way.’ If they were real, we would know, if anything the government is horrible at keeping secrets. And that is why I don’t believe in conspiracy theories.

Ok, so this line of reasoning was going nowhere, I decided to try a different angle. Well, people keep secrets all the time, we don’t know the plots and endings to movies before they come out. So he told me, “That’s not true, there are sites dedicated to releasing scripts and info about movies.” And that was the end of our conversation.

I thought afterwards that his point about the movies was pretty good. Cause, I had no idea that you could get movie scripts online, but apparently, they are out there. At the same time, that argument kind of supports my alien thoughts. Cause the proof could be out there, and most people aren’t looking for it or don’t believe the evidence they see.

One thing he said, was that he didn’t believe in conspiracy theories. I wonder, are UFO’s and aliens a conspiracy theory? Don’t get me going on conspiracy theories. I think it is a weasel word to kill or delegitimize conversation or a dive into a contrarian view. But that is a whole other conversation.

But if that was the case, then we could say, these UFO’s are a secret or foreign military vehicles. Or some other thing like that, or the conspiracy is that the videos themselves are all fake. Who knows, maybe we live on a flat earth and the sky is an illusion and all the stars are fake. If that were the case, it would extend to all the things we see flying through them in the sky.
And this brings us back to something I was suggesting before. And that is that reasonable people can’t accept that aliens exist. This isn’t to say that UFO’s aren’t real, there is no doubt about that, but aliens, that is something else.

But then when I look up at the sky, which I said I do a lot of, there are so many stars or galaxies. And around those, billions of stars are other stars, and around those stars, there might be planets. And so we have billions of planets, and I can’t for the life of me believe that we are so special to be the only living things out there. So it becomes impossible, in my mind at least to think that there aren’t aliens out there. But that doesn’t mean they are coming here, though they could be.

I know we have the Fermi paradox and the Drake equation and all these other things trying to explain the situation. But they all rely on the powers that be telling us the truth, which is a hard pill to swallow. The military or government could know that aliens exist, but they may not want us to know.

Think about it; lots of people would lose their minds if that was on the news. They couldn’t handle that truth because it is too out there. For myself, I would feel vindicated if the truth were to come out and say that aliens were real and they were UFOs. But my mom and most other normal people wouldn’t take that news so lightly.

But that is what it would take for most people. It would take serious and real acknowledgement from the mainstream media. People need to see it on CNN, BBC, and Popular Mechanics. It would need to be everywhere for most people to believe in it and take it as the solemn truth.

As for me, I’ll say, how can aliens not be real, but what do I know, I’ve never seen one.

Walk Talk #1 – Addiction and Changing Your Environment

Preamble:

– Talking about walking, sometimes walking in the city gets loud
– Walking in nature, it’s more freeing and feels alive
– Having a conversation with yourself, helps you clear your mind
– The gravel under my feet makes the walk seem more real
– Steep, more inclined, some kind of rhyme?
– It is the last day of summer or at least close, it’s warm and feels like summer

Addiction:

– Working from home, less stress, less coffee- Rat Park (call it city in the conversation) was an experiment that looked at addiction. It suggested that addition was a result of the environment rather than the enjoyment of drugs.
– People are overweight, there is an opioid crisis, people are dying of preventable diseases. Could this be about our environment? Could it be a way to deal with the stress?
– Junk environment = junk behaviour = junk addictions

Getting Out of Your Environment:

– Safety Behaviour, drinking water to feel better
– Walking and talking, talking and walking, self-therapy
– Different places mean different states of mind. Different environment means different habits, can we get over addictions this way?
– Act and behave different, a new place frees us to think in a different way, see our problems differently.
– A big way I did this in my life, was by moving to South Korea for a year- Having a ‘new’ life helped me figure out what I needed and wanted to do
– That new view of life gave me direction, lead me to web development and what I currently do in IT.
– The smell of the river gives me nostalgia of Korea, maybe that is inspiring these ideas.

Rounding it up:

– Going back to an old environment, there is a risk of returning to old habits and addictions, but the direction can help with that.
– My time in Korea was some of the most enlightening experiences of my life. Learned about who I was.
– Changing your environment is the best way to get out of habits and addictions.
– A walk helps you forget the world around you, for a bit
– Talking and walking is talk therapy, walk, talk Get things out!

Crisis In Meaning

Script:

There is a genuine crisis of meaning in our world. Examples of this could be the opioid crisis, increase in deaths of despair, Trumpism, Brexit and the rise of extremism.

These are signs of the times, in that people have lost trust in the things they typically used to believe in. Take the mainstream news, it is losing interest and ratings while people flock to alternative sources on the internet.
You can look on youtube, and see the traditional promoted mainstream media content getting little attention. While people like PewDiePie suck up tons of interest and views.

This all comes down to the idea that people no longer believe in the institutions of which they used to rely upon. It used to be a thing where we could believe the TV news, newspaper and politician would tell the truth. But now we have alternative sources telling us different stories that seem as likely to be true.

We have the break down of the Ivy league prestige, where we’ve discovered that they are pay to play credential farms. They are where people who have lots of money send their kids so they can be greeted with open doors and get respectable jobs.

On top of this, the news industry is filled with people coming from these schools. So in a sense, you have a generation of people experiencing a completely different reality, telling everyone else how to think. Many of these people lack the perspective of the ‘every person,’ and they know little about ‘real’ life.

In a way, this is the cracking of the surface of what our parents told us to do. Work hard, get into a good school, get a good job. But in a lot of cases, getting into a good school is fixed, and getting a reasonable education cost so much that you can never live a normal life afterwards. So the question becomes, who does it work for?

In a lot of ways, getting an education was an excellent way to get ahead in life and live a meaningful life. But that seems to be going away, and there are lots of people doubting the value of education these days.

On top of that, there is a rise in part-time, mobile phone related work. In the UK, they have zero-hour contracts; in North America, we have a generation of contractors.

These days, when you go to a restaurant, more people are picking up food to be delivered then there are people eating there.

You could say, people are taking these sorts of jobs for freedom. But I suspect people take these jobs because it is all they can get, or they need the extra money just to keep on living.

In other words, it is not so much that people want these jobs; it is that these are the only types of jobs available.

Then you hear that 14,000 new jobs were created. But I wonder, was that not 7000 people signing up for Uber and Lyft, so two part-time jobs that are one part-time job. That said, it could be even worse, how many of these jobs are food delivery?

This all comes down to a question, of how much meaning we can still get from work? Is work only a pay-check and nothing else? Sure for many people that has always been the case, but it seems to be getting worse.
On top of this, so much of the stuff we used to take for granted is fading way. Few people show up for elections and vote; we have less trust in our governments and money.

You could say people feel that things are good and don’t need to change. Or you could say that people have lost hope in the value of their vote or the people they can vote for. A pillar of western society is fading away without concern.

In many ways, this crisis of meaning is becoming a more significant thing. So much of our lives are missing meaning, or purpose is fading away. We can no longer rely on the lessons from our parents and the ways they did things because that doesn’t work anymore.

What’s funny about all this is that our modern lives have tried to hide the old ways of finding meaning in our lives. For many people, the things we have, the jobs we work, the money we make is what we think should matter.

But, if we look back at some more traditional values. Like finding a partner, starting a family, and keeping in touch with your parents, these things are important but seemingly discouraged. At the same time, those are precisely the types of things that will give our lives more meaning now.

Social media encourages us to ‘talk’ with people online, but what about talking to people in real life? Admittedly, we seem to have more friends, but do we still have real friends? Now, more than ever, loneliness is becoming a problem, yet we are more connected than ever before.

Along with this new technology, has come an emphasis on upgrading our skills and being better employees. But what about doing things that we like but have no economic value? Couldn’t those sorts of things help us live more meaningful lives?

Take drawing a picture, you might not make any money doing it, but you will feel better about flexing your creativity muscles.

In a lot of ways, there are all sorts of things we can do to make our lives more meaningful. In some ways, they might go against the things we think we are supposed to do. But then again, many of those things don’t seem to make sense anymore.

That is what this crisis is all about. It is about searching for things that can make life more meaningful. It is also about adding more meaningful things to our lives. On top of this, we need to put in extra effort to seek meaning, because the world around us, is always telling us that life is meaningless.
This is why I wrote my book, “How to be amazing, a manifesto.” It came out of a feeling of meaninglessness, but it covers 42 ways to make life more meaningful.

It is about finding meaning for yourself and on your own terms. At the same time, it is also about finding meaning in what you are already doing. We often forget, but it is important to know that what we are doing now is meaningful; even if it doesn’t feel that way when you look at the world around you.

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Seeing Things Differently

seeing things differently

This video is all about seeing things differently, from going for a walk in a different direction to going somewhere you haven’t been. Changing things up in your life will help you see things differently. In turn, the motivation from these new views will help you create a new life.