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What is my level of empowerment to make up my life as I want it, or at least to experiment to discover deeper into it?

RichardMiller's picture

I listened to political debate audio

I listened to this debate audio on one of three streams sponsored by the Green party.

It was amazing. 2 million or 2.8 million people watched this feed. It was also streamed on Twitter and Periscope.

They played the audio of the Clinton / Trump debate live. Then Jill came in on every question with a breakthrough solution based policy on each issue. She was unstoppable. She has her platform so internalised that her answers just roll off of her tongue. Then she took 20 minutes of questions from Twitter giving 30 second answers.

The whole thing was amazing. Next time I hope she is on stage with the other two candidates. If not these feeds work great.

RichardMiller's picture


I am just waking up the astounding power of focus and intelligence of Dr. Jill Stein, presidential candidate.  She never falters, even agains the most toxic interviewers.

Here is a more tranquil Green Townhall this August run by CNN.  She answers all questions right on-point.  Absolutely nothing about throwing curve balls at the adversaries.  Always on the issues.





You got to get on board and give something. 10 bucka times a million makes a difference. Zero bucks times 100 million is total apathy..

I made lots of little donations to Bernie Sanders.



(Even if it is only to hear one voice of reason in a wilderness of blabber.)

RichardMiller's picture


Much of the planet moves in cycles, and the predominate cycle is that of the seasons which affects all lifeforms.  A group of these cycles we call a lifetime.  We’ve identified the length of this cycle, and we have defined a beginning (and an end), which we call “Happy New Year”. 


Why should the next cycle be any different than the past cycles?  Our body is getting older.  Our mind has more ideas, and we may have adopted these ideas as beliefs.  Most of these beliefs act as a justification for the structure that we find ourselves in.  The structures are inevitable forms that we must submit to in order to function in society.  If we have children, the tightest of these structures might be the school district, (if we don’t want to move our kids out of their circle of friends).  We have a family, and a job and a house or apartment to maintain.  This leads to an inevitable rhythm of life that limits our options to what’s available within this structure.


So we mark the passing of another cycle, perhaps without many options to modify or improve it.  We do have some latitude with personal habits and could exercise more, or binge less.  But exercise takes energy in a lifestyle that may already be stressed, and binging of one kind or another may seem our only moment of escape.


mtony502's picture

An inconvenient fact of relevancy . . . it's all about "me"?

Why do I react to some people's posts and not to others? If there's no resonance or dissonance when I read a post . . . I just keep on going to the next one. So is the resonance or dissonance an indication of some obvious or latent relevancy to me?

Hmmm . . . let me try another angle. How Richard sees the world is important to Richard. How AI sees the world is relevant to AI. How Melanie sees the world has meaning for Melanie. How Marcus sees the world is how Marcus sees the world. And how Tony sees the world is important to Tony.

But really, why should I care how anyone else expresses how they see the world on this forum? The vision they describe is their issue, and the problems associated with it are their problems, not mine. My issues and problems arise from how I see the world not how they see the world. So why the occasional hissy fit about how they see the world?

Realistically, how someone sees the world may have (a) no direct impact on me, (b) minimal impact on me, (c) moderate impact on me, (d) significant impact on me (as when a gunman holds a revolver to my head because I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person . . . but that's another story).

Generally speaking though, how I see the world has little to no relevancy, little or no direct impact on your daily life, and vice versa. And to the extent there may be some indirect butterfly effect between us because we are all interconnected somehow (the one oceanic consciousness or whatever), . . . if I'm not immediately aware of it, its's like no impact at all.

So . . . sometimes I read a post and there's nothing, sometimes a mild interest, sometimes a deep interest, sometimes amusement, sometimes a shake of the head and eye-rolling and sometimes . . . heat. But in all instances, whatever's going on is happening in me, not you. In fact, you don't know anything has happened until someone leaves a comment?

RichardMiller's picture

Worth talking about, But you can’t really say anything

Some things you can’t talk about, because the moment you say silence, or stillness, you have already broken the silence or stillness.

1. We do know that there are perceptions that really exist, because we experience them every waking moment.  We also know through instrumentation that our perceptions are very limited to a certain window of frequencies and temperatures, and that there appears to be a vast existence outside of that window, which we could call “secondary perceptions” sensed through instruments.

Even our own vehicle (body) lives much outside of our window of perception. We have discovered through secondary perceptions some of its inner workings.  For example, we discovered the germ theory of medicine.  But still our daily life unfolds for the most part confined to our perceptive window.  That makes us grounded, in that we don’t need an instrument to navigate.  (Sometimes we wear glasses.)  For the most part, individual life unfolds as a valuable experience, just through this “human” window of perception.

2. I’ll launch this example: We can perceive thoughts.  We can perceive language.  We also perceive emotions, and memories.  We probably can perceive relationships between these four, some of which could start as assumptions but which we test to see if they are consistent.  Let’s state some relationships:

RichardMiller's picture

Rethinking Development Studies and World Poverty

“Truth that is ignored by friends is the deadliest weapon of the enemy."

Change Seems Inevitable

1. Society in the modern world changes.  If those changes are in the direction that a researcher deems positive, that change is called development, or possibly intransitive development meaning it is happening by itself, (or by the collective agency of the players).  If those ongoing changes are deteriorating social wellbeing, then the situation cries for transitive (or the interjection of proactive) development.  If those interactions that are made on behalf of development are not delivering their promises, or if the side effects are more damaging than the positive goals that are able to be added to society, then Development Studies needs to be rethought.  The possible motives of the developers should also be investigated, which I will look into below.  I suggest that any effort put something into action should be judged only by the results on the ground for the parties involved, without much further justification.

Compatible Fixes

RichardMiller's picture

The kind of money system we have chosen determines social and ecological outcomes.

I had been reading about the world monetary system, and I had asked a few of the participants at a conference on Rethinking Development Studies at Chiang Mai University last weekend what they thought the effect of money was on development theory. No one, it seems, has considered it in depth.  They either did not understand me, or they thought that all currencies would be about the same. I am beginning to realise that development without currency and interest payment policy cannot have maximum effectiveness.

1. Academic circles in sociology have scarcely researched or tested attempts to investigate alternatives to the present monitory system. The kind of system that organises a society determines to a very large degree the measure of freedom and development, and mutual human relationships. The most prevalent reason for not thinking about the money system is the conviction that it cannot be changed.  A money system has consequences that rise to the surface in human values. A system where greed and exploitation are built in, ends up destroying itself.  It promotes the negative side of human beings with all its consequences rather than the positive side.

RichardMiller's picture

Cultural Misunderstanding as a most Dangerous Pandemic

… globalization, the most thoroughgoing socioeconomic upheaval since the Industrial Revolution, which has set off a pandemic of retrogressive nationalism, regional separatism, and religious extremism. —Martin Filler


The world of humans and the individuals in it, run their lives upon a narrative.  Individually we could call it our beliefs, whether expressed or unconscious.  Collectively that narrative is the motivation for our collective actions, and the explanation for our past acts, along with their justification, a spin and a possible cover-up.  It’s the intentional distortion of history.  We refer to that narrative as the truth, or the lack of truth, depending on whether we are the dominant power or the marginalised group.  


In order to run any organisation or any country or government an ideal narrative must be constructed.  We can acknowledge that it is impossible to follow any narrative to the letter, and that those ideals should still be set high.  All action is interpreted through beliefs, so that people may sincerely believe what they see and as they interpret it.  We also know that many people distort the narrative to gain personal or national advantage, and to keep on doing what they are now illicitly doing.  When the narrative and the perceived acts don’t align, we call it hypocrisy.   


RichardMiller's picture

Studies on Human Identity

The study of how human identity is moulded is a big concern of social science because nations continually manage their rhetoric that “we are one national identity”.  They know that being identified with something gives commitment toward that object of identification.  Or at least they know that not feeling part of a social structure or a social process is the cause of much dissension.

A field that has studied identity is called Symbolic Interactionist Theory.  It posits that without a relationship, without that human mirror, there is little that we can know about our own identity.  Maybe in a non social situation (in isolation) identity is meaningless, or at least useless.  Can we say that we have no identity in that situation?

What are these identities? They are centred in action and reaction and are based in thought, speech, belief, emotion, level of conviction, repetitive or non repetitive patterns, our seemingly closed or open attitudes, and how the other perceives that these identities impinge upon them.  The identities are also in a hierarchy of importance to us and those not so important to us, (by how much we are identified with them).  Another classification could be that they are “core identities”, which we may or may not be able to articulate, or social identities, group identities, roles that we play, or our own self image summed up from the recurrent patterns of all of the above.

RichardMiller's picture

The various segmentations of Identity

(Or we go to any absurdity to escape a feeling.)


Let’s consider a few attributes of identity that are often separated as independent (or a semi-dependent) systems.

  • Our bodily control system.  The body functions pretty much by itself.
  • Our bodily reporting system, pain, heat and cold, feelings of dis-ease, and other layers of feeling emotion, fear or alarm.
  • Thoughts and the explanatory system.
  • Memories and the repetitive system.
  • The feelings and emotions that are evoked by thought and memory
  • Our various calls to action and/or to hesitation, or to prudent avoidance of default action.

Actually our identity is the process of all these systems functioning together.  Some system might be dominant for a period. We might try to deny certain of these partitions. (I call them partitions instead of parts, because that is what we are investigating.)