All posts tagged: politics :)

Brainstorming for Sustainability: Social media is mass hysteria?

I came across this interesting little brain nugget that asked ‘Is Social Media a new form of mass hysteria?’ and now I can’t shake that idea. Being a child of the internet the evolution of social media never seemed like a big deal to me. From 90’s message boards, to LiveJournal, to MySpace, to YouTube, to Facebook, to Instagram and everything that came and went in between, I just seized it, used it, and disregarded whatever didn’t suit me. But when you really sit down to think about it, social media has, and constantly is, changing our lives drastically. It is how we keep in touch with friends and non-friends, how we get our news, stay involved with our particular interests, share pictures and opinions, and in essence, shape our image. But we also shape ourselves.

Truthseeker or information junkie?

I love the internet. I really do. Before the internet our access to information was rather limited. I have given myself the challenge to ‘unlearn’ historic truths that we just take for granted because our fifth grade teacher told us so. We are, for obvious and time-saving reasons, indoctrinated into a certain world view from an early age. Here are the good guys, these are the bad guys, and here’s why and how this war was fought. Usually the good guys win and our worldview remains safe and orderly. We can even illustrate it in a nice little chart.

Orwell and good in the land of the free

Wow, a lot has happened to the stories we tell ourselves this past week! Another layer peeled from the onion that makes up our reality. I have to admit, I don’t pay too much attention to whistle-blower scandals but when journalists like Chris Hedges and the good people over at Truthdig flood their headlines with the name Edward Snowden I just have to know what the fuss is about. Turns out the fuss was pretty major. On June 8, Americans learned that the National Security Agency has been collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of the telecommunication giant Verizon. It was revealed that the NSA claims internally that it has been using a top-secret spying program called PRISM to gain direct access to personal data belonging to customers of top Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo. Those revelations came to us courtesy of 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who currently works for NSA outside defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. And as The Guardian noted, “Snowden will go …

What is Happenning in Istanbul?

It’s a tragedy when a peaceful anti-corporatism protest in Turkey has already claimed several lives at the hands of police and government. Citizen journalism and blogging is so important to unite activists worldwide, show soliderity and get the real news about what is happening in the world out there. Thank you to the brave people of Istanbul.

Writers worth knowing: Chris Hedges

Really great 30 minutes radio interview with Chris Hedges who has been my journalistic hero for quite some time now. Learn about his past and experiences that led to his current worldview of humanity in crisis. Once you start the journey to sustainability you will experience many stop-overs on just about every issue on the planet – from environmentalism, corporatism, politics, economy, philosophy, humanism, religion, and last but not least, an evaluation of personal beliefs. True sustainability cannot be “part” of all the other beliefs we hold – it has to encompass the whole damn thing. It means the planet’s ability to sustain life has to come before our own needs, and certainly before money. Chris Hedges is one of the few prolific journalists who is not afraid to speak the message “Let’s change or die“. He attacks the problem of injustice from multiple angles, and while most of his writing can be depressing and downright frightening, I always learn something new about what rings dangerously close to “the truth”. In this day and and age, …

10 steps to a sustainable life: Step 3 (Origins of Stuff and modern day slavery)

Did you know an estimate 20 million people are living in slavery today? Step 3 is educate yourself about where the things you buy come from. This becomes more and more important because the global economy is also an invisible one. When you pick up an item in a brightly lit store with familiar tunes playing in the background there is absolutely no way of knowing how many hands had part in bring that particular item to you. You don’t know how much they were paid, but judging by our insatiable thirst for bargains, the answer is most likely ‘not enough’. I grew up in Norway, that frozen little country in Northern Europe, and I spent the first 25 years of my life in blissful ignorance about how it is that we can buy 2 pounds of oranges in December for about 2 dollars. I guess it has something to do with volume – when buying tons and tons of oranges the stores are able to get them for cheap – or any other excuse …

10 steps to a sustainable life: Step 2 (Choose your culture)

Don’t just accept what is presented – choose your culture carefully. A lot of our Western civilization has become toxic. It is mainly constructed around consumption in the past 100 years, with devastating effects on our environment, natural world, and even our health. You can decide for yourself if this was all pre-planned evil conspiracy, but personally I think it was just average human short-sightedness and our common desire for comfort, combined with human ingenuity. The second industrial revolution fueled by oil has spanned into the first truly global empire – powered by cheap labor and ruthless exploration of resources. As we find ourselves in the age of information it is very easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, keeping the population overwhelmed serves as a goal in itself because then you don’t have time to contemplate the fundamental things – such as why am I being bombarded with all this junk? (See Step 1) Shouldn’t our goal be to leave this planet in better shape than we found it; more beautiful, in better health, a …

I propose the following ground rules for intelligent debate:

1) Earth is the only home we are going to have in the foreseeable future so we have to care for it as such. When the question is “profit or planet?” the planet should always win. How many people do you know that are constantly destroying and selling off parts of their house to make some money? The logical outcome is that eventually they end up with no home and some money, so I guess they would buy a new home when they are done. But remember, we have no second planet. 2) Humans and all living things need air, water and food to survive. Therefore, making sure those are healthy is our number one priority. You will not be able to eat money after your food has given you cancer, your drinking water is toxic, and once we run out of clean air, well, you’re dead in three minutes or less. 3) Aside from shooting things into outer space, there is no “away”. Garbage and waste will eventually find its way back to you …