wisdom for a divisive issue

Obama’s recent statements on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, remind us all (like it or not) of the immensely divisive issue of abortion.  The article says… Continue reading “wisdom for a divisive issue”

costs here and there

Want to have a baby in New Zealand?  That will cost you… nothing at all.  Diane and I have had various scans, midwife services, ante-natal classes, additional support and of course, the birth and subsequent more-than-normal care (heck, we’re even going to be reimbursed for the cost of petrol/gas to and from the hospital!) for our precious 7-week premature Thomas – all payed for by taxes payed by us and the rest of New Zealand.  So, yes, nothing is free, but these burdens are shared by the whole country here…

Want to have a baby in the United States?  You’ll probably want insurance.  I’m told a common cost for having a baby is around $10,000.  Who on earth would have ever thought that something so sublime as childbirth should ever have to be something you have to be insured for!!??

Then again, maybe New Zealand makes up for it in wireless internet charges?  In the US, you can go to nearly ANY cafe and enjoy free wireless internet – here, I’m paying $3 per hour ‘thanks’ to Tomizone… :)

shortland street publicity costs

I’d absolutely love (or maybe hate?  or both?) to know how much the huge (several ‘windows’ wide and several stories high) ads for shortland street (which I saw today in Auckland city-centre) cost to make, install, display and dispose-of…  It’s a freekin’ TV show…

(on a different tack, the two ‘by-lines’ I remember from the ads were: 1) “Trust no one”, and 2) ‘Lust makes fools of us all”.  Yawn…)

on tolerance

The louder one screams about the need to be tolerant, the more their very act of screaming demonstrates the equal need to be intolerant (for example, the need to be intolerant of intolerance), which also means their screaming is only a half-truth…

Not 100% false, not 100% true, but a half-truth; which isn’t too helpful, really…

What would be helpful would be to suggest what should be tolerated and what should not – and why…

an end of the pax americana?

Obamas turn has come to rule the American empire.

Will it continue to be a mass-consuming empire of greed?

Only time will tell.

Here is a thoughtful, timely and read-worthy critique by Brian Walsh entitled:

Barack Obama: A Post-Imperial Presidency?

And yes, the same question could’ve/should’ve been asked had McCain won the election…

buying rubbish

It’s ‘inorganic rubbish collection’ time in Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand.

Northcote street-sides are loaded down with previously-wanted, cheaply-made, briefly-enjoyed and hastily-discarded stuff.

Interestingly, a rather large percentage of the items you’ll see piled outside homes in the area can be seen in pre-broken, pre-rusted or pre-outdated condition in store advertising fliers like the “Outdoor Living ’08” catalogue from the Warehouse (the near-exact New Zealand equivalent of ‘Wal-Mart’ – that corporation-of-all-corporations emanating from the U.S.).

Yes, the American disease of paying far-too-little for far-too-much is migrating shopping mall by shopping mall to New Zealand. Continue reading “buying rubbish”

knowing about knowing

Epistemology is (loosely defined) as the study of knowledge.

As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!). Continue reading “knowing about knowing”

worldviewing

There are different ways of understanding what a worldview is, or what questions it seeks to answer or how it is gained or what it is shaped by.

When people of different perspectives, beliefs (and yes, different worldviews) discuss what a ‘worldview’ is, it is easy for their own worldview to influence things.  I freely admit the likelihood of my Christian worldview/perspectives/beliefs to influence me in this process, and I’d hope others would admit the same tendencies. Continue reading “worldviewing”

making sense of sheldrake

[copied from excerpt from YouTube video (embedded below) of a talk given by Rupert Sheldrake at ‘Google Tech Talks’ on September 2, 2008 entitled “The Extended Mind: Recent Experimental Evidence”]

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 75 technical papers and ten books, the most recent being The Sense of Being Stared At. He studied at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, funded from Trinity College Cambridge.

We have been brought up to believe that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is too limited. Recent experimental results show that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated. And people’s intentions can be detected by animals from miles away. The commonest kind of non-local interaction mental influence occurs in connection with telephone calls, where most people have had the experience of thinking of someone shortly before they ring. Controlled, randomized tests on telephone telepathy have given highly significant positive results. Research techniques have now been automated and experiments on telepathy are now being conducted through the internet and cell phones, enabling widespread participation.

I’d love to hear critique of Sheldrake that takes him seriously and respectfully enough to be patient, thorough and non-reactionary. I’m not ‘convinced’ by everything he says (probably not smart enough to know either way!), but I find it fascinating, and enjoyed a recent lecture on Sheldrake by Robert Mann. Continue reading “making sense of sheldrake”