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The #Compassion #Project, Only #Compassion #Defeats #Dehumanization

Different from empathy and sympathy compassion is the strength to be willing to try and ease someone's suffering, to help them ho...

Friday, June 1, 2018

Civil #Conversation Between Adults Of Opposing Views IS Still Possible. #civility #politics #religion #philosophy #respect

I’ve been having a real conversation with someone through Twitter DM for the past few weeks now. They lean right, me left. They are American, I’m Canadian. They admire Dr. Peterson, me less so. They said they were a militant atheist, I’m ordained. We are even different generations. It’s been one of the most civil enjoyable discussions I’ve had in years. We’re not competing for attention, points, or likes. Just talking like two adults. Refreshing. 

I've said the following before but I think it's worth repeating here:

Saturday, October 8, 2016

None of Us has a Perfect Point of View

You can't see the entire mountain of truth from one point of view, particularly if it's the one that your feet are planted upon.

Although I do try to define evil as dehumanization and point out examples of it in action, I'm not trying to call anyone evil, stupid, or blind. Unwilling to be compassionate, yes, but not unable to care, reason, or see.

I am saying that their point of view may interfere with the clarity and scope of the viewpoint. I'm suggesting that they consider a change. Move a bit towards another side and look at it from a different angle. The view might improve. It might be better than your original one. You don't stop being you, you just care enough to be moved to shift a little. You have compassion for your own limitations and those imposed by nature and the situation. It may provide more stable foot  upon which to stand, a better grip.

None of us has a higher point of view. That kind of thinking traps us all on its slippery slope. You can't see the bottom from the top, and little in between.

I don't listen to or watch CNN or Fox or most other commercial media. I'm not an American, that's just a fact. I draw upon media sources from around the world, most not commercial. I also draw from non-media organizations and groups and various points of view. I try to sift out what's accurate. Truth is too hard to find. You can judge that. I'm not parroting a party line. I'm trying to broaden and deepen my own view.

I'm both liberal and conservative, hopeful and cautious. I try to choose the point of view  most useful in the situation with compassion as the guiding principle and progress the goal.

Compassion is my project.

Everything is always in process
Only compassion defeats dehumanization.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Political Correctness, Does Language Matter?

My personal approach to language is that of a writer. Writing is all about appropriate word choice, context, subtext, and associations. Find the right word to say exactly, precisely, eloquently, what you mean to say is the whole trick. It’s an art and a craft. Difficult enough when you have the time to edit and revise, very difficult when speaking in conversation. I used to be able to do it quite well as a youth; I could compose, edit and then speak without taking long pauses. Not anymore. It’s real work now. I would imagine that is the case for everyone, it being real work and time consuming. That’s why serious conversation can’t be rushed. That’s why they don’t work on the television, Twitter, Facebook, and other media forums very well and get reduced to cheap-shots and melodramatic, hyperbolic, sound bites. Language is more difficult than most people think. There are rules behind it that we are always taught. Context matters a lot. So do the intended listener/reader and the intended emotional reaction that you wish to evoke. Language is rarely neutral.  That why philosophy was created. Sophistry is the art of argument to evoke emotion without substance. Philosophy is the method of proper argument. The former is emotional provocation, the latter an attempt to rationally convince.  

The following is the highlights of a debate in which both sides make good and flawed points. As is typical of any conversation. 


A politically incorrect debate about political correctness

From left to right: Michael Eric Dyson, Michelle Goldberg, Stephen Fry and Jordan Peterson. (The Munk Debates)

Does 'political correctness' impede free speech, and blockade the exchange of ideas? Or does it create a better society by confronting the power imbalances that keep marginalized groups marginalized?  In this Munk Debate, bestselling author Michael Eric Dyson and journalist and commentator Michelle Goldberg argue that political correctness promotes diverse societies and social progress. On the opposing side: renaissance man Stephen Fry and controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson, who contend that "PC" throttles free thought and divides society.

Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress…

That was the official wording of the resolution tabled at the Munk Debate at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. And those few dots at the end of the word "progress" are significant, because they imply a dynamic that's open-ended. Progress can mean exactly what you want it to mean, and so can "political correctness".
Journalist Michelle Goldberg heard about political correctness from people attending campaign rallies for Donald Trump.

Michelle Goldberg is a columnist for The New York Times, a journalist and bestselling author who writes about identity, culture and politics. 1:03
A columnist, a psychologist, a scholar, and an actor went into a theatre and debated political correctness. Or at least they talked about it from very different directions — never quite agreeing exactly what 'it' was or just how it was affecting society. Four other people would have had a completely different and equally compelling discussion. Which shows both the slipperiness of the terminology, and its importance. If democracy needs free exchange and understanding of other ideas, and some people are worried that certain terms or ways of thought have been arbitrarily declared off-limits for discussion, while others say using appropriate language merely reflects a long-overdue new reality, then where is our common ground?    

The Debaters:

Arguing for the resolution
What they called political correctness was the fact that they had to have this urbane black president who they felt talked down to them, which is really what they meant. I don't see a way around that because that is progress. – Michelle Goldberg
Political correctness becomes an issue, and what I mean by that is people who used to have power, who still have power but think they don't, who get challenged on just a little bit of what they have, and don't want to share toys in the sandlot of life, so it becomes a kind of exaggerated grievance. – Michael Eric Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson and Michelle Goldberg. (The Munk Debates)
Michelle Goldberg is a columnist for The New York Times, a journalist and bestselling author who writes about identity, culture and politics. She is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and her writing has been featured in The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Nation, the New Republic and The Guardian. As a foreign correspondent, she has reported from India, Iraq, Egypt, Uganda, Nicaragua, Argentina and more. Her books include Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, and The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World.
Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, host of The Michael Eric Dyson Show on NPR, contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, contributing editor for the New Republic and ESPN's website The Undefeated. He has written more than a dozen books, including Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America and April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Death and how It Changed America. His forthcoming book, What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation about Race in America, is due to be published later this year.
Arguing against the resolution:
The collectivist narrative I regard as politically correct is a strange pastiche of post-modernism and neo-Marxism and its fundamental claim is that no: you're not essentially an individual. You're essentially a member of a group. Jordan Peterson
Why I came to this debate, I was interested in…. the suppression of language and thought, the closing down, the rationalist idea that seems beguiling, that if you limit people's language you may somehow teach them a different way of thinking, something that would have delighted the inventors of George Orwell's "Newspeak". – Stephen Fry
Jordan Peterson and Stephen Fry. (The Munk Debates)
Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. He has worked as a dishwasher, bartender, beekeeper, plywood mill labourer and railway line worker, among others. He has also consulted for the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Sustainable Development, advised senior partners of major law firms, lectured extensively and helped clinical clients manage conditions including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.  Peterson's online lectures have been viewed more than 35 million times on YouTube.
Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet and film director. He studied English literature at the University of Cambridge, where he became involved with the Footlights, a theatre club that has spawned many of Britain's most prominent comic actors, and met his long-time collaborator and friend, Hugh Laurie. Fry has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award-winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and Stephen Fry: Out There, a two-part documentary about the lives of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people around the world. His most recent book is Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold.

**This episode was edited for broadcast by IDEAS producer Dave Redel.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Does #Privacy Matter?

What is the value of privacy? Many people have given up the idea of privacy in the assumption that if they are doing nothing wrong they have nothing to hide. This isn’t the reason privacy is important. Only in private can you truly engage in introspection. Everyone has their personal things to work on and work out. It’s very difficult to do that well in public. All your attention goes outward in hopes of positive reflection. You can’t look yourself in the eyes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do NOT Rely on #Aphria for Your Medicine

Image result for warning sign

I have originally went to Aphria for my medical cannabis needs at the suggestion of my doctor. I was happy at first, decent product, decent price. Then a weekend hit. It is a stupidity in the medical cannabis industry in Canada that no one works on weekends. You can order 30 days of medicine then you must wait until the 31st day to order your next 30 days worth. This means that you run out before you get more. You are typically out for a day, maybe two by the time you order and get it delivered by the fastest method possible. If it falls on a weekend you are screwed until Monday.I chose my first supplier because Aurora offers same day delivery. But not on weekends, although that would certainly be possible if they would offer the option. Amazon does, so could they.

Then my doctor suggested Aphria to broaden my selection so I could try more strains and get the CBD to THC ratio right for me. Things were fine until the weekend arrived. The best they could do was have it by Monday. Since they are in Ontario and I am in Alberta, I put up with this. Then they sent it and I could see through the delivery company that my order was sitting at the airport in my area. It sat there all weekend until Monday. Aggravating but what can you do? Each time I order from Aphria, my order date is ignored and the delivery date is the date they have gone with for when I can reorder. Thus my order date advance further every month.

Then, this weekend came. I ordered as soon as physically possible, on midnight Ontario time for Friday, 10pm my time Thursday. Then I waited. They usually process it in one day, though they warn it can be two. They say they are open on Saturday even though they don't deliver. So I waited for Monday as usual. Having run out on Thursday .each day thereafter my anxiety, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease became more problematic, until I couldn't function any longer. Monday arrived and I still hadn't gotten the email saying that my order was on its way. So I complained. I was told that I should order earlier in the week. Not a possibility and they should damn well know that. They didn't. I don't think they train their people. Then they said that I should have ordered Friday morning. So I told them I ordered at 12:13am their time. It took that long to go through the process. I couldn't start until 12am their time. So they apologized and said they would rush it out that day. They also offered a $15 credit. I spend over $800 per month, which fortunately gets reimbursed through my wife's awesome insurance. So this meant nothing to me. The price of 2 g when I order 90g from and was thinking of switching my other 60g to them too. I told them and gave them an hour to send me the delivery email, after emailing and messaging them throughout the morning and afternoon. Starved for sleep and food, because I can't eat or sleep due to my conditions.  I managed to grab a two hour nap. When I checked there was nothing. I was furious.

Due to a fax error, my Aurora part of my monthly order was set back a week from the Aprhia one. A few hours later the email arrived saying it was on its way. I checked the dates on the receipt and the delivery label had been created on Saturday. The shipment was sent on the Tuesday morning, 5 days after I placed my order. It is supposed to arrive Wednesday, 6 days later and the day my Aurora is due to arrive. They managed to waste a full work week forcing me to go without medicine for the entire time. They apologized for the inconvenience.  It's not inconvenient, it's damn painful and a long horrible experience that I take medicine to avoid. The medicine they are supposed to send in a timely manner. When I realized early in the month that I would be screwed by a weekend, again, I suggested that they take the lead and start weekend deliveries. I said I'd pay extra for it and I would. It is worth it not to be in pain, depressed and anxious. Being able to eat and sleep is also nice.

It drives me crazy that pharmacies and Amazon can operate on weekends but this entire industry WON'T. I would switch to any supplier who did offer this. I stick with Aurora because they are reliable, dependable. I order it as soon a possible and it arrives that afternoon. Like clockwork. I only went to Aphria because Aurora was new and had problems keeping sufficient stock at first. I'll be ditching Aphria as soon as I can. I'll give Aurora the $1400 or so a month that I was going to give to Aphria. If you can't depend on your medicine supplier for timely delivery and have to go through frequent periods without the medication they are much good as a supplier. Aphria isn't reliable. They spend too much effort and time giving out free hats, medicine kits, and grinders. I need my medicine on time. I don't give a damn about their logo on a hat. I posted my complaint on the Facebook page and another client said he had only been with them a short time and they had to give him several credits already. Credits don't treat medical conditions. Medicine does.

If the system allowed you to order a day or two ahead of the 31st day mark, like you can do with any other medication, this would be less of a problem. However them's the rules so we're stuck. We need dependable, timely processing and delivery.

Do not rely on Aphria for your medicine. They will only disappoint and leave you hanging.

I'm done with them. As soon as I can get an appointment with my doctor I will be switching it all to Aurora because then I can get my medicine the day I need it and not a damn week later.

Bye bye Aphria and good riddance.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Highlander 2, What I Would Have done.

Time for a bit of creative fun.

It's long been a peeve of mine that the sequel to the awesome movie Highlander was so terrible. It tried to explain the origin of the Immortals and failed utterly by making them somehow aliens and the Prize they fought for the knowledge to create some kind of environmental shield for the planet. Lame to an infinite degree, it made no sense.

Here's what I cam up with.

There is an Egyptian myth about the god Osiris, his wife Isis, and his brother Set, in which Set kills his brother and then scatters the pieces of the body all over the place. Isis gathers them together and resurrects Osiris. I would have based the movie on this. Osiris could have been a god or some  powerful entity who was decapitated and then sundered only to have his spirit gathered by Isis into children born of various human tribes, maybe passed down the bloodlines until activated by another Immortal. Each of the Immortals could sense the others because they shared one spirit. When they decapitated each other the pulled the pieces back together until only one remained.Conner would have become Osiris or at least have his power and wisdom.

This could be explained through Conner's memory and then it could be revealed that Isis and Set are still around too. Isis might be passing through females in a similar manner, maybe with a twist like there is only one and  its passed on mother to daughter, or there could be a female Gathering. Then together they save the world from Set.

Set, Osiris, and Isis might be alien entities but the Immortals wouldn't be.

Can we try again?