Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The problems and advantages of simplification

Trying to give a propagandized and ill-informed public some idea of what is really going on in this world is a difficult and thankless task. In general, people hold to simplified world-views, formed by collective emotional "swings and roundabouts" or feelings and ideas coming to them from the unconscious and childhood-implanted conditions. To break through such a barrier one has to simplify. In all affairs that have to do with the complexities of society and politics, to simplify is inevitably to falsify - to a degree. But it is nevertheless preferable to try to do it, rather than to leave matters to the false simplifications that take root like "memes" and serve self-serving power-groups and vested interests.

Simplification in language is something different. I (or Terres) would claim that such simplification does not necessarily limit effective functioning or ability to express complex feelings and ideas. The Syai language is a product of a particular culture developed on another planet. To bring it "down to Earth" is a tremendous task for the writer of this blog. If one is not young, the constraints on it are largely a matter of time. An energetic 80 y.o., wanting to stay engaged in family and social life, inevitably slows down in energy as time "speeds up"!  It's like being on a merry-go-round going faster and faster, not being able to stop it for a pause or slow it down. In order to finish the task it may be necessary to break off from trying to express in simple summary the painful truths that cause so many people difficulty in acceptance and understanding. One has a choice. One can try to get through the gate-keepers to bring as much "awakening to reality" as you are capable of in the present, or you can try to create a greater source of awaking in future possibilities for mankind and her environment?  Something needs to be finished that belongs to the hopes of the future, and that is Syai. What is shown in the picture above is a Syai world-creation symbol and a teacher of Syai hand-writing, who seems to be telling me: "Get on with it - finishing your Syai work must take priority!"

Monday, 31 August 2015

Picture: small white figure entering a dark future.

I fear the people of Europe will come to regret that their governments failed to act soon enough and take the more long-term view of the refugee and "better-life-seeker" invasion from the failed and semi-failed states of the Middle East and Africa. Those displaced person include the ones trying to escape from the violence of rebellion come from Syria where there was (and still is) an attempt to overthrow government. That attempt was (and is)  backed by powerful outside interests. That beleaguered government, though hardly democratic and with many flaws, might have been pressured instead to make improvements, and at least it had  - over  a considerable time -  ensured stability.

 Saudi Arabia and its "friends", including the United States, offered no refuge for the fleeing refugees, despite the fact that by far the majority of them (as well as other displaced persons from Eritrea and other states) are of the same majority branch of the Islamic faith as the great majority of people in wealthy Saudi Arabia.

The result of the turmoil may please the more militant extremist elements in the Islamic Faith, as inevitable Islam will play a more important and probably a somewhat disturbing part in the future of Europe. The general goal of spreading Islam will take a significant step forward. Unfortunately, that will probably include an advance in the fortunes of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq/Syria. As the picture here seems to me to symbolize, it's dark days ahead for a "diminished" Europe, and not cheering either for the majority of people world-wide.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Disruption of Nationhood on our Planet

The Syai planet includes communities that go their own way largely, but limits are set to cause them never to be a danger to the planetary laws that protect both the main civilization (which is that of the Syai) and the basic natural environment. The unity of this Earth-world can only emerge from (a) sustainable balance of individual freedom and responsibility; (b) from the elimination of all forms of corruption. What the picture symbolizes by the diminished games board (has only six across instead of eight), is the future of our planet. A diminished environment with all the pieces lost because of too many unleashed destructive forces.

The NZ journalist Karl Du Frense reviews George Friedman concerning Europe and the world in general. I am impressed, but draw conclusions that seem to me to follow:
1. Nation states need to embrace cooperativeness, but retain their sovereignty and cultural integrity.
2. Russia needs 'protectable' borders or it will take reactive action.
3. Accumulated oil money in the unfettered capitalistic global system that causes vast differences in wealth both within nations and between nations is destabilizing and giving excessive 'oxygen' to socially illiberal and fanatical forces, some of which seek to justify their violent actions through religion.
4. Sunni Muslims who could be classed as 'moderates' because they are at least open to changes that would adjust their religion to the world as it is now and not as it was 14 hundred years ago - these people need to join many of the non-Sunni Muslims (and Christians) fleeing from the chaos of what has been fostered by the Wahhabi ideology of the Saudi elite, allies and other groups holding the same rigidly extremist views. Europe especially is facing the consequences of this and must change tactics to enable many of the refugees to return to their homelands.
5. As for New Zealand, our prosperity depends on trade and trade routes staying open for us whatever policies we adopt externally or internally. US based 'big business' threatens this freedom, especially as the US tries to tighten its grip in the Pacific region. It is in our interests to protect our trade with China and to discreetly support a balance that does not allow the US to become too strategically powerful over the Pacific region. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

From my "Syai-alien" point of view,this picture looks sinister: a dead-end street of nostalgia, of regressive sentimentality, of greed and cunning?  Could that the the prevailing psychological ambiance of our world at this beginning of the 20th Century? Looking into much of what is going on, especially in the Middle East, its coming repercussions, it may be that ISIS is one of the best indicators of a growing planetary crisis.

The link between the United States and ISIS (‘islamic state’)
ISIS thinks it is going to punish America and bring it down to size. In fact, in its hatred of all of Islam that does not submit to its Wahhabi (and like) version of Islam, it is becoming more and more a tool of the United States’ strategic, economic and cultural ambitions, which tend to centre on “regime change”.
Where there is social-political upheaval in the world, the US power-elite with its close allies will use the upheaval to their advantage.
In doing this there are costs – also in blood – but the US power-elite are generally able to externalize these costs so that they are born mainly be populations outside the US.
A true understanding of what is going on in the Middle East depends on acceptance of the above. One must also accept that those who have ambitions to rise like a fiery phoenix from the deadness of the old colonial order, to achieve world domination, also seek out every way to use the US power- and its allies to their advantage. The main ally of both ISIS and US: Saudi Arabia.
ISIS  - in its advance into the West – can also count on the supportive apologetics of The West’s regressive leftists, who are about all  that is left of the once-powerful freedom-fighting left-wing of European heritage.
There are still a good number of progressive, socially liberal Americans, even some journalists. The US power-elite tolerate them only in so much as they can be kept on the sideline; impotently window-dressing a bogus “democracy”.
ISIS is slowed down a little with a desultory bombing campaign by the US and allies. This strategically fits in with what they are really aiming for: the good old US custom of effecting regime-changes to suit. At this present time: in Syria.

World-wide there are youngish men, disillusioned, disaffected and bored, turning more-or-less fanatical and violent, to give their lives some meaning. Along with some genuine extremist Sunni Islamists, they supply the boots on the ground in accord with the Nixon Doctrine.  ISIS therefore works well for the US power-elite and allies, diverting attention from Israel’s intransigence and making the survival of an anti-US, non-Sunni Syrian regime impossible.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Okraalom (Subtitles "The Eagle and the Dove")

Okraalom (Subtitles "The Eagle and the Dove") is a published book that harks back in the Syai world to when it was at about the stage of development  as our earth civilization was toward the end of the seventeenth century, that is, at the beginning of the post-medieval, modern era. It is adapted to illustrate, by means of close attention to detail, the state of civilization at that time in our world. It does this despite that the main events and background (even some of the themes) of the novel refer only to the very different world of the Syai. It can therefore be put in to a category such as fantasy-fiction, based on genuine historical records. One "collective character" in the book - the natives of the main island featured in the story - bear some resemblance to the Maori - I trust not unsympathetically. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

World and human species in jeopardy. What's to be done?

There could be one hundred billion trillion Earth-like planets in space, making it "inevitable" that extraterrestrial life exists, according to a  leading astronomer. (The Telegraph science correspondent).

A brief observation like this blog of the present state of the planet and human civilization as if "from outside" (possibly by such as the Syai?) may seem too sweeping to be taken seriously. Ignore it? No. It may be a tiresome cliche to refer to "elephants in the room", but "elephants" there are, and I dare to name them (as I think T. and the Syai would). 

(1) The retentive-come-expansive expectaions of the rich are the main cause of the plundering of the planet reaching unsustainable intensities.  
(2) Human fertility with its relatively recent explosion of numbers. Notwithstanding that the pace of that expansion appears to have slowed for the time being, there's no sign that increase in numbers will not continue - not without radical changes in global cultures.

Valiant efforts are indeed being made to lift some of the world's most crowded and climate-affected areas out of poverty, as well as to oblige the well-to-do to accept more transparency and less corruption, but the "elephants" remain. Rather, the world should unmask the "elephants" as dragons, biding their time to break out eventually, in full fury. Well-meaning reformers can damp down small fires started here and there by the dragons' breaths, but the dragons themselves have very thick skins.

What would "outsiders' like the Syai advise us to do?  Well, we can act on the expectation that the rich will continue to have all they need for a comfortable, interesting life, even after they have been sheared of their source-assets and their power monopolies and (in many cases) their obscene salaries and perks. Sources of prosperity must be taken into 'commonwealth' and managed accordingly by dedicated servants of 'commonwealth'; persons of good education and ethical integrity. Those who have established themselves to become very wealthy, often allow their offspring to live in a fools' paradise; 'princes' and 'princesses', with no need to exert themselves and contribute anything to 'commonwealth'. Let's put an end to that.

The line must be crossed (especially for men) over the present non-regulation of fertility. Except in extraordinary circumstances, every adult person should be licensed to have one, two or three children and no more. There might well be some encouragement to reduce even that quota. China with its experience of population-growth limitation might well take a leading role in global enforcement of this regulatory program.  Nations that refuse to follow should face ostracism and blockade. Proselytizing religious leaders who seek "tribal-style" population increases in their followers to overwhelm non-believers and take theocratic power, should be exposed as dangerous enemies of peace and prosperity.

It's a survival agenda, and hardly likely to happen. But with reference to the opening of this blog: only one acorn in hundreds of thousands from a single oak ever puts down roots and lasts long enough to become a mighty tree.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What do you think the Syai would think of this world?

T. explanations of humans behaving in typical ways and organizing things on their planet would have shocked and intrigued the Syai people. They would have expressed fears for the survival of our species. According to T., in comparing their civilization to ours, they picked up on the following points:

1.  The rich are concerned with making and keeping the planet as their exclusive playground.
2.  The poor are left free to churn out babies knowing that these babies as children and adults have little or no prospect of a decent life.
3.  The governments are happy (mostly) to be only partially free of corruption, and almost all are inclined to be tolerant of corruption in their most wealthy or influential supporters.
4.  Religions cannot disguise the fact, though they desperately try, that they have a historic and present role in fermenting bloody conflict; partly because they are extraordinarily stupid in getting their ethical priorities into a humanist non-supernatural perspective.
5. Scientists ... too easily bought.
6. The healthy don't find it easy to accept that sport is not reality - only play!
7.  The sick too easily excuse themselves for not having controlled their appetites for things that made them sick; also, don't make much effort to moderate their demands for consumption of financial and other kinds of resources. (That is not to imply that an empathetic social system shouldn't do its best to take care of them.)

Monday, 1 December 2014

The wisdom men and women are capable of, doesn't show up much in conservative traditions of religion of 21st Century

Says the witch in Game of Thrones, "The night is dark and full of terrors."  Strong beliefs (easily corrupted) are the launching platforms of action. That explains a lot of the mayhem around the human planet of today, especially in regions rich with oil (and oil money), of strategic importance to ex-colonial powers and riven by religious conflict.  

But the source of the terrors and the darkness of ignorance are not what we hear or see on screen somewhere far away out there. They are deep - or not-so-deep - inside us!  Because traditional organized religion and its off-shoots are "out there", they can't help us much in saving our sanity, procuring for us a sustainable biosphere, and providing us with ethical standards of behavior. In fact they seem inclined instead to drag us into the "dark and full of terrors" regions. The religious founders and pious ancients are not really as helpful in making us intelligently moral beings as the philosophers of ancient Greece and China with their love of natural beauty, elevation of Reason, and penchant for critical social- and self-examination.                        (Picture by Severen, 6 y. o.)

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The language & culture connection

The diagram (from 'Spirituality and Aging' conf. 2009' - c.o. Dr Richard Egan) struck a chord with me when revising material about the connection between the religio-mythological side of Syai culture and its language. In the three outer areas of the 'map' of the psyche are the Physical, Social and Mental. They are centered by Spirituality. These designations come close to what the Syai call the Gods of the Minor Quaternary and how Syai linguists introduce a crucial part of their language structure. At the center is the Heart-goddess (spirituality); on the outer are the "Worldly-deeds" god (physical), and the Emotive/Motivational goddess (social) and the Intellectual god (mental). Each Syai verb-form can be divided into four variants according to which of the god-realms it most suitably seems to belong in. This provides a pattern of meaning-associations that facilitates the learning and use of the language.

Naturally, each of the deities mentioned has its own Syai name, and all four are major protagonists in the dramatic creation story that is used by Syai adults to explain the world to their children.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Main points in Syai democratic constitution

Iperial Syai system of government ... just a sketch, no details as my focus here is on the democratic principles. Center (Q)  (metaphorically) reflects the Minor Quaternary of Syai gods, the Empress/ Emperor and the three 'elders' of the Imperial Council.They are the source of validation of power, but in themselves have almost no power. The three 'Elders' are go-betweens, advisers and guardians, informing the imperial personage and organizing everything around her/ him. (If the two real powers can't come to agreement on something, then 'Q' might have to play an important, even deciding role.) The real powers are the Villages' Assembly and the Walkers' Council. The Walkers are not so concerned with steering the course of government as with environmental and social well-being and justice.

Some points of the constitution as far as T. could remember them.
(1)  Freedom of access to readily-available truth.
(2)  A holistic education founded on the humanities, on children learning about their biological/ natural surroundings to start with; with science and technology built on that foundation.
(3) Stimulating but fair competition, with emphasis on individuals or groups competing against their past selves, not blocking or undermining efforts of 'rivals'. 
(4) In an open society where everyone has personal aims that can be better pursued in co-operation rather than cut-throat competition, there is no place for secrecy and transactional privacy. Acts of  personal and consensual privacy are assured and protected, so long as they have no direct harmful effect on persons unknowing and uninvolved.
(5) To have unity among diverse communities there must be a grand symbol of unity, and to be effective a-ffectively that symbol needs a face - that is, some degree of personification. The gods of Syai cultural mythology serve this purpose without fueling a demand for theocracy to take precedence over democracy.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Considering what is needed for a well-functioning democracy

Using what 'T.' reveals of the Syai Empire as a model of democracy, I have been thinking of our Western so-called democracies and what would be the revolutionary reforms needed to change them from oligarchic semi-democracies to what would satisfy the Syai to call them real democracies. I have worked out five or six principles which I will subsequently present (in some form) on this blog. My fear is that if any country on this globe under present conditions dared to come near to implementing these principles, that country would be trashed. If not armed agression, practical reasons and even moral considerations would be dreamed up and given full air-time by the Western media for why it was a bad experiment that was being justifiable undermined in the interests of growth, international co-operation, freer trade and so forth. Even if the "experiment" proved popular, the discontent of a power-hungry few would be worked upon both in and out of the country to bring about a reactionary reversal. But there is no credible historic evidence that a real democracy experiment could never succeed in a country or region, provided it was
left free of outside interference.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Preparing a seminar on matters of faith, the spiritual dimension an reality

As planned next year I should have a seminar prepared on some of the negative aspects of religion and how they might be overcome. My contention is that a greater understanding of the spiritual dimension of our lives can potentially overcome the conflicts and violence that these days seems to rage around religious issues. I fully approve of suspending disbelief - there's a lot to be gained from it in entertainment and even in wisdom. But to think it doesn't matter if people believe whatever they like or suits them to believe, is simply to "feed into" the aforementioned conflict, violence and rage. The picture above might well be taken as symbolic of the beauty of 'Gaia' or the natural sciences. However, without the spiritual dimension and openness to philosophical criticism, scientists themselves can fall into belief-systems that cause conflict and environmental harm, often in bowing to the self-interest of their human, emotional selves, or to the greed and ambitions of their financial backers.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

This picture is T.'s impression of a Syai caravan-cottage (drawn from memory and T. is no artist). Each Syai adult has such a private dwelling to him or her self although much of their daily activity is usually spent in the communal buildings of the village. Villages are situated in well-forested regions and have cultivated fields and meadow-like surroundings with well-protected water-ways and wet-lands.

The adult individual can live and work in solitude using his or her caravan-cottage, pretty well as he or she sees fit. Food is stored just adjacent to the door, as needed. If there is reason for the individual to move and work in a different village, the home goes as well. The letters (picture) indicate some of the utility of the parts of the home, while the base (yellow, 'F.') is where the wheels are a little below the surface and where electricity supply and drainage are taken care of.
A :  skylight- can be opened or made opaque. 
B :  raised organic toilet, to facilitate the composting process.
C:   access trap through which the compost can be retrieved, used.
D:   auxiliary unit for storage and temperature regulation.
E :  Attachment for when 'tractor' needs to pull home to new place.
F ;   As already described above.
G :   Paved pathway to main communal building (cover not shown).

Monday, 27 October 2014

Intelligent Design (/Creationism)

Donald Duck ponders: "Maybe your design wasn't intelligent enough!"

I've been seeing on Google that there seems to be a lot of academic stuff written in defense of (evolutionary) Intelligent Design. In the next philosophy-discussion meeting I attend, a member is going to give us supposed evidence to justify belief in this. 

Unfortunately, the idea behind Intelligent Design  can be linked to the Rev. Paisley's "Proof of God's Existence". A primitive wandering along a beach finds a working watch on the sand and marvels at the intricacy of it - then looks around at all the wonderful examples of nature and says to himself, "This thing in my hand could not have come-to-be by accident or from nothing. It must surely have had a creator. But when I look about me at the marvels of nature, surely I am obliged to conclude - just as with this object - there must be the intelligence of a divine designer and creator behind it.

Of course he is not obliged at all to think that.  The primitive fellow would be more inclined to use his common sense and put the thing he has found into the category of his stone ax, but assume that its maker would be a being very strange and powerful - a spirit or god. If he did so, he would be making a correct distinction between the made or manufactured creation of things and the things that are self-created or appear in the natural formations of the environment, The fact that we need to and easily make this distinction between what is 'manufactured' and what has evolved to "grow like Topsy" does rather make nonsense of the very idea of Intelligent Design. For making that distinction is at the very basis of our understanding of reality. Without it, confusion would reign and accumulation of knowledge, or science, would be impossible. (Apol. to Disney for taking picture out of context)