Friday, December 29, 2006

Setting Targets in the Fight against Corruption by Louis Evan Palmer

As any dictionary will inform, corruption is a diminishment of integrity and it's an inducement to break the rules often by improper means such as bribery or blackmail. But, it's more, it's a subversion of the rule of law; it's a step towards a criminal society run by crooks & thugs; as harmless as corruption might seem under some circumstances, it represents a menace to good government. It is not something that can be safely ignored or minimized.

It can be stated without equivocation that corruption exists and also that, in most cases, it needs official cooperation or protection to exist. The vexing question is how is it to be discovered and removed?

A technique used in debugging software might help - one establishes the expected number of bugs and then it's decided whether to find a certain percentage of the bugs or to vigorously search for a set time period. This target-setting technique might be useful in rooting out corruption.

Let's say, for example, that there are 15,000 policemen in a given jurisdiction. Let's say we have a corruption index for various jurisdictions: above 9.0 is very high, between 7.0 and 8.9 is high, etc. Then we agree on what percentage of policemen are expected to be corrupted for a given corruption index in an area. There would have to be some accounting for the seriousness of different types of corruption when determining the ratings. Serious hidden systemic corruption - corrupt politicians, judges or lawyers - would likely be rated as more serious than, say, bribe-taking policemen on the beat.

For the sake of argument, let's say that "very high" means that at least 10% of a given force is corrupted. So for a 15,000 member police organization, we'd expect to find some 1500 policeman involved to varying degrees in corrupt activities. At the same time, we'd establish which units are more likely to be corrupted and what types of corruption exist and what their threat profiles are - for example, corruption that involves the legislature or judiciary is more serious than corruption that involves a small-time loan-shark down the street.

Using a target-based system, we'd state that we want to identify a certain percentage of those 1500; say, 80% - so we'd investigate until we had identified 1200 corrupt policemen or until a set period of time had elapsed, for example, 12 months. Naturally, a process would have to ensure that anti-corruption investigations were pursued correctly. If too low a number of policemen were uncovered in the 12 months, that in itself might force the constitution of a new investigative team and a new 12 month mandate.

This example mentions policemen but that's just one potential group. There are also corrupt judges, corrupt politicians, corrupt public administrators, corrupt military staff, etc. etc. They all must be looked at.

Notice that we're saying "are" and not "might be". That change of attitude forces us to contemplate and carry out appropriate action. We're in effect saying that crimes are taking place.

The whole process of rooting out the corrupt members in various groups is complicated. This is proposed as a continuous effort. The expectation is that an organization moves downward on the corruption index and then maintains itself at a low level. While we want to have zero-corruption, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

A lot of quality effort is needed to figure out how to staff an anti-corruption force and to ensure that its interactions are protected and enforceable. It must have subpoena powers and the ability to get wiretaps. It must be outside of the normal chain of command. It's difficult and it would require a serious dedication of resources and talent to properly set-up. There have been numerous attempts, some better than others, some more long-lasting. They can be re-visited where necessary. The point is to have an active & effective group that will be tenacious and fair.

The anti-corruption group also must be able to adapt to handle re-organizations, changing conditions like an economic downturn and to evaluate the impact of organizational structure on corruption.

The anti-corruption groups should develop expertise in governance and how it can be subverted to facilitate corrupt activities. This especially comes into play in war or conflict zones, in lawless regions or failed state zones and in the interaction within a given nation of extra-territorial institutions and groups like corporations and criminal syndicates and entities like free zones and tax havens.

There are, and have been, many anti-corruption groups - divisions of larger police organizations, divisions of tax collection agencies, within various government entities. This article envisions a national anti-corruption group that exercises supervisory power over these groups, conducts its own investigations, and coordinates research and interaction among all anti-corruption and related groups and, perhaps, most importantly, offers expertise in the governance of anti-corruption organizations.

A very important point in this type of endeavour is that the corruption uncovered is only the first step. It must be followed all the way. In whose interest are these various persons being corrupted? Who does it serve? How? Why? Without this step, it'll end up as serving up the small fry for public consumption while the big fish move on to better feeding grounds and the rot continues.

The guiding principle is that normal operation & governance will happen as long as the organizations themselves are free enough of corruption to properly function. A continuously operating national anti-corruption organization and its associated campaigns and affliated groups would help ensure that the various components of government are clean and unobstructed as they perform their legally constituted roles.

Another aspect not mentioned - there must be a comprehensive move into any branches of "invisible" or secret groups whether within the government or without. By definition, they represent a corruption of good government. These might prove to be the most dangerous and difficult battles in the anti-corruption campaigns.

Setting Targets in the Fight against Corruption, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Unbridled Corruption & Abuse of Power - Naked Shorting by Louis Evan Palmer

The bedrock of society is trust and this requirement especially extends into the financial realm. Yet, it is precisely there where it often fails because the tentacles of greed, desire & fear squeeze it out of the unsteady converts to honesty. Their religion is "self and what can be gotten away with" and they rapidly crumble under any ethical pressure.

With rampant corruption, mostly hidden or obfuscated, and its attendant abuse of power, it's difficult to choose a starting point so letting chance play its part, we settle on a story identified by "Project Censored" and listed as #18 in the "Top 25 Censored Stories of 2006".

It appears to be a variation on the theme of the rich get richer. It's called "Naked Shorting".

Naked shorting is a shell game - you sell something you don't have - in this case, stocks; in fact, you don't even sell them, you borrow them; actually, you don't even do that - you pretend that you either have or will them; so maybe we can call it an IOU on a loan on a stock.

In the world of MBAs-turned-conmen, these complex schemes are ideal because you can baffle them and dazzle them and if they want to probe too deeply then you can "Emperor's New Clothes" them - if you don't understand their explanations, it's because you're stupid or ignorant or both. Best keep your mouth shut and let your betters do their thing which in this case, is to rob you blind.

This is a layman's version of "Naked Shorting". The "naked" part refers to the fact that the "short" is not covered which means there is no stock in hand to short. A normal stock purchase involves investing in a company and hoping it does well enough so that you make your money back plus some. Say, as when you buy shares at $1 a share and sell them for $1.50 a share. "Shorting" is the opposite - although you can't actually buy a share in this scenario. You agree to borrow a share for a period of time. In this case, say the stock is trading at $1 a share but you think it will drop, so you agree to borrow the share and return it for $ 0.90 a share in 30 days - you're hoping it falls to $0.80 or lower and then you make $0.10 a share. Because there is no proof that the trader offering the short actually has the stock, there can be a greater number of shares than what a given company has issued. Such a stock can only go down. This then can be used as a means of attacking a company and putting it out of business and stealing its assets - making money all the while.

What is the bottom line?
  1. Hedge funds and large traders & specialized traders get away with grand theft
  2. Small & mid-sized companies, especially those in need of capital, are driven into bankruptcy and/or to the vultures
  3. Small & mid-sized investors are victimized (again)
This is yet another in a long line of techniques for creating credit - one of the guaranteed ways of making (i.e. stealing) a great deal of money. This is always the foundation technique - creating credit. Look for it and everywhere you see it, you will see the mark of thieves and thugs.

Job One for our governments and their agencies - control, transparency & fairness in the creation of credit in all its forms.

Unbridled Corruption & Abuse of Power - Naked Shorting, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Monday, December 25, 2006

3rd Hint.... You might be in a Holographic Universe by Louis Evan Palmer

Whenever you have holes in a theory, you naturally suspect that the explanation is not quite all there. When the theory has to do with reality and consciousness then, of course, it's all the more important that it's addressed seriously, yet all the more likely it won't be, unless you can find a technique that allows almost anyone to see through the fault and understand, and be able to use, the new explanation.

Some interesting tidbits in the assault on the contention that matter is the primary reality and everything including mind flows out of that.

Our reality appears to be completely shaped by our organs of perception as we understand them. For example, humans have two eyes and this gives us the ability to see depth due to the overlap of the two fields of vision. No binocular vision, no depth of vision.

Two interesting vision-related phenomena have been under study - one is called is binocular rivalry, the other is called stereopsis.

Binocular rivalry refers to the situation where one image is seen by one eye and another image is seen by the other eye. In any natural situation, you'd be seeing two aspects of the same scene. But, if by chance, or by experiment, you happened to see one image in one eye and another image in the other eye then binocular rivalry comes into play. There are many interesting permuations but to boil it right down - you end up seeing only one image even though two images are presented. Your mind decides which one will dominate and the other image disappears. While this phenomenon has been under study for centuries, most intensely in the 20th century and beyond, what is being looked at are the various scientific aspects - the intensity of the light, the similarity or difference between the images, the timing, etc. etc. The salient point for this discussion is that the mind is deciding what is to be seen. This opens up the question as to what else, or how much, of what we see (or hear or smell or sense or taste) is decided by the "mind". What might we be blocking out? How do we arrive at a consensus as to what is to be perceived if that's what is happening?

The materialists will say that it's some aspect of matter that determines what is to be seen but it does seem to be more like a quantum phenomenon than an ordinary physical one. That is, the observer affects what happens.

Stereopsis refers to a situation where the mind (or the brain) takes two images and merges them to some extent which the mind then sees as a single composite image. Again, what appears to be the "raw" input and what we perceive differs as a result of a decision in our "mind". This seems to fit in with our powerful drive to make sense of the world by seeing patterns and causality and connections. We will create a narrative even out of a potentially Rorschach blot universe.

This drags us into that dreaded conundrum - how do you know what you don't know? How do we know what we don't perceive? How do we know what we perceive but ignore; and why? How much is what we decide versus what is? Is there a "what is"?

3rd Hint.... You might be in a Holographic Universe, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Character-spotting...... Take 2 by Louis Evan Palmer

There's always a pharisaic quality to these types of articles but I'm going to humbly proceed because allowing certain actions and words and other commentaries (or lack of) to pass without remark signifies acquiescence even tacit acceptance.

Children are precious to most people in most societies. Children are also among the most vulnerable of any society. Typically, they are protected and nurtured.

In this regard, statements, especially public statements, about children should never be damaging or invasive of their privacy.

Let's contrast two such statements - one by Eddie Murphy, another by Ethan Hawke.

In an interview, Eddie Murphy stated: "But, you're being presumptuous because we're not together anymore and we don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test. You shouldn't jump to conclusions, sir."

This was in discussing his relationship with Melanie Brown, her pregnancy and her claim that he is the father.

At this point, Mr. Murphy does not know whether he is or isn't the father. In fairness to the child, one would think he would have kept silent on the matter. Instead, he is, in effect, casting aspersions on the mother by saying that she may not really know who the father is because she may be sleeping with too many men to keep track; and, worse, rejecting the child as his own. Since this has all been done in the open media, the child will presumably find out about this at some point. In the meantime, the whole world knows. Is this fair or right? Is this something that a man of honour would do?

Uma Thurman & Ethan Hawke had a son and a daughter before they divorced. They have not talked about their split and have not been critical of each other in public

"She's my children's mother," he says. "You have to keep that above anything else. If you bring two people into the world together, that supersedes anything else."

It may have been easier to lash out at each other in public but it would have hurt their children.

Sometimes it's difficult being a gentleman or a lady, sometimes it's not difficult. It definitely helps to have a guiding light, words of wisdom to follow, perhaps something like "do unto others..."

Character-spotting... Take 2, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mental Illness Casts a Wide Net

Says who?

In a holographic universe mind is primary and therefore, mental illness is a more direct malady than, for instance, having a sore back. In our common understanding however, mental illness is still a mystery and without pharmacology, there probably would have been almost no progress in treating it.

Our approach is mostly empirical and based on
a material explanation. We give a person substance "A" and note its effects and if it's sufficiently helpful then it gets prescribed. Does it mean that this manifestation of mental illness is caused by a lack of substance "A" or that the substance acts on the conditions that are causing it? That all depends on the delicate art of correlation.

It gets difficult because so many substances, or lack of, can cause similar effects. For example, how many substances or other inputs can cause anxiety? That's why we can have popularly prescribed anti-depressants that make people suicidal. Most of us would consider suicidal thoughts or actions as the ultimate in depression which is what an anti-depressant should be combating. Maybe we don't really understand it all that well.

Yet, even as our lack of understanding becomes more
exposed, the list of things that are enveloped to some degree by the mental illness net widens. The former Soviet Union used to declare political opponents as mentally unbalanced. The United States under its corporate tutelage has more recently been declaring more and more conditions as illnesses for which medication is mandated. Political and other forms of correctness are dragging various "isms" into the mix. Racism is being mentioned in the same breath as mental illness. Alcoholism has been successfully rebranded as an illness.

All these dictates and compulsion is occuring precisely as
we call into question the foundation of how mental illness is currently explained. Sounds like denial.

Mental Illness Casts a Wide Net, Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be
Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. He may be contacted at

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Canadian Head of State by Louis Evan Palmer


Despite repatriation of the constitution, Canada still maintains the Queen of England (and Scotland, Wales and other various places) as the official Head of State. It is long past the date when Canada should Canadianize this ceremonial but nonetheless important position. This in turn would precipitate changes to a raft of other symbols and emblems associated with the Head of State such as currency, stamps, specialty flags, & names of military units to name a few.

It is proposed here that we keep the ceremonial institution of Head of State but Canadianize it by having a first nations Chief as Canada's Head of State - where first nation would include the Inuit.

“Your Excellency” would replace “Your Majesty” and other similar changes. Ships at sea would go from “HMS Canada” to something like “CCS Canada” where CCS stands for “Canadian Confederation Ship”. A Canadian Head of State would not be a heriditary position along it might be a lengthy tenure, perhaps even a lifetime appointment.

Place names like “Queensway” or “Kingsway” would give way to “Chiefs Way” and all the other assorted names and conventions would give way to similarly appropriate Canadianized revisions.

It might take a few years to settle in but like the Maple Leaf Flag it wouldn't be long before we could never imagine it not being that way – the Canadian Way, eh?

Canadian Head of State, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Sunday, November 19, 2006

ARA - A Country Called Refuge ... The Way It Can Be by Louis Evan Palmer


There is a country, a new country that doesn't exist yet, where anyone is accepted even if, in some cases, they may not be actively welcomed. It's name is "ARA" which is Latin for "Refuge" - over time, it has become the new beacon of hope for millions.

ARA is a mid-sized country with an ocean coast and no obvious riches. It will not extradite anyone although it does have normal laws and will imprison certain types of law-breakers. It will prosecute within ARA for serious crimes committed outside its borders. Almost exclusively this is where there is a loss of life although, in exceptional cases, it will prosecute where there has been a major impairment of life: such as, pollution & crimes against the environment or theft & embezzlement where the crime has affected thousands or more. Those found guilty will be imprisoned, or otherwise penalized, in ARA accordingly to its laws.

There are a type of law in ARA called the "forever laws". These are laws that require no interpretation and are to be applied as is for as long as ARA exists. In fact, they are the basis of ARA and without them ARA dies, in the same way, each of us would die if our heart was removed. So, for example, ARA does not have the death penalty - it's outlawed forever. ARA does not allow for extradition - it's outlawed forever.

ARA's armed forces are purely for defence and are directed towards non-lethal means of stopping foreign aggressors. Weapons that disable soldiers, that disable electronic & cyber systems, that blind satellites, that impede vehicles. It develops & uses methods of propaganda that can reach the population of the aggressor to alert its citizens of the situation in ARA. ARA does not allow for the development or deployment or use of weapons of mass destruction - it's outlawed forever.

ARA has complete control of its money, credit-making facilities and all financial instruments. It controls and regulates the flow of goods & services into and out of ARA especially those associated with banks and financial services. It is fair but firm with all foreign institutions but does not permit its country or institutions to be used to hide illicit or undisclosed earnings or launder money. Where warranted, ARA will pay out compensation to foreigners.

ARA has no secrecy laws - everything is to be disclosed. Its privacy laws are specific and focused - privacy is not to be used as a screen for secrecy. Some governmental misinformation is allowed but it is tightly controlled and legally santioned. ARA forbids the existence of secret organizations - there is freedom of assembly & association but it has to be open and fully disclosed - its members, its purpose, its finances, its actions, etc. There are no thought crimes in ARA.

More on ARA in other posts.

ARA - A Country Called Refuge ... The Way It Can Be by Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Character-spotting ..... Take 1 by Louis Evan Palmer

I know
I like

There are always stories that make one think of character - that elusive quality which we value and seek but typically understand only in an oblique way especially given that we don't really think about it much or deeply. Maybe we should.

For example - there's a current story about a young celebrity singer who's recently divorced from a less well-known former dancer / would-be singer. They have two children. The former dancer also has two children from a previous marriage. He and she are their twenties. Apparently, he has threatened to make public a private sex tape they made in the first few weeks of their marriage unless paid a huge sum of money and granted full custody of their two children.

If this doesn't make you think of character then nothing will. That one can have two failed marriages and four children and still be in your twenties, does not speak well about oneself. People have to assume there is cause and the cause when boiled down to its essentials will have something to do with character.

Examining this concept, we find that one of the key aspects of character is steadfastness - to most people, character does alter when things get unpleasant or difficult.

This forces us to acknowledge that pure stubborness is not necessarily reflective of good character. An unwillingness to change one's mind is also not an attribute. Thinking about the reasons why we would consider this true leads us to the assertion that the motivation and intention of a person is pivotal when considering a person's character.

Using the previous example can make it easier to see various aspects of character.

One - taking something that's private and using it for personal gain. We instinctively feel this is wrong because we value our privacy and we trust those with whom we are sharing. To most of us, a person of good character does not violate our privacy and does not cause us to no longer trust a given person. Expressed in an very old-fashioned way: they honour us and their relationship to us.

Two - using threats and demands for money in the context of the custody of children is crass. We value children and feel they should be protected and assisted consistent with their proper development. To most of us, a person of good character does not use children as pawns in other personal disputes and never as the reward from a threat. Expressed in a an old-fashioned way: we honour our children and their relationship to us.

Three - being responsible and dependable is a mandatory requirement. Without getting into any specifics - to not be an active participant in the support of one's family either financially and/or personally is not acceptable. The exact arrangement of duties and responsibilities is up to the individual family and is not tied into percentages of this or that. However, having one party free-loading off the other party is repugnant to most people. Expressed in an old-fashioned way: we honour ourself, our relationship to our family and our duties and obligations.

Four - wanting the best for oneself, one's family and others. A person of good character is not out to hurt anyone. They want to help as much as possible and appropriate but their main focus is to fully meet the obligations they have and then go from there. They are not selfish or greedy. An avaricous capitalist is not a candidate, nor is a vengeful commissar. A person of good character does not kill or steal or cheat or slander. Expressed in that way that harkens back: we hounour our world, other people and our relationship to it.

To sum up on this first take: a person of good character honours themself, their family, their friends, and their world by trying to do their best, help, meet their obligations, progress and strive for understanding and compassion.

Character spotting, take 1, louis evan palmer, the way it can be,

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Monday, November 13, 2006

Unsurvivable Weapons - Nuclear by Louis Evan Palmer


Herman Kahn wrote a book a while ago which he called "Thinking about the Unthinkable" and one of the basic premises it examined is that a war using nuclear weapons could be fought & won. We know, but have seemingly forgotten, that this is not true.

Part of the reason we know it's untrue is because while waiting for a Martian dust storm to clear, the scientists tending to a 1971 Mariner 9 space probe decided to do some extra-curricular investigations. Their resultant calculations highlighted that the dust blocked enough sunlight to significantly lower the temperature on the martian surface. Similar conclusions were reached by German scientists a decade later regarding raging global forest fires that would be caused by nuclear blasts. This led to a concerted effort to study the phenomenon of atmospheric particulates and their effects, especially on sunlight reaching the surface and the life dependent on it. Gwynn Dyer talks about this in the latest edition of his book "War".

In this context, the bottom line was that a nuclear exchange of more than 100 missiles in the 1 megaton range that was targeted on major cities (a likely scenario) would be enough to plunge the world into a nuclear winter with a massive post-explosion loss of life - plant, animal, human.

This is not the hundreds of millions who would die from the bombs themselves which has always been the main focus - this is the billions who survived. It could be the extinction of humans. It would certainly be a mass extinction of plant & animal life. It would also destroy the ozone layer which would render the surface uninhabitable. It would poison the entire world which would not allow it to sustain life. This is a horrible possibility which must be dealt with in the swiftest, most unequivocal manner.

This means that nuclear weapons are unsurvivable which means that they are unusable. The only solution to protecting ourselves against unusable, unsurvivable weapons is for their banning, destruction and subsequent & unrelenting prevention measures up to, if necessary, a prohibition on nuclear (fission) power .

To be clear, unsurvivable means that even if a country launched a completely successful first strike and there was no retaliation whatsoever, everyone on the planet would still die.

If a defensive posture is offered, let it stand as unchallenged that there is no shield imaginable that could stop all the missiles. For this reason, retaliation has always been part of the "defense". The only thing that a anti-missile defense opens the way to is a first strike or, the recurring dream of war planners, a tactical strike.

A tactical strike is such a ludicrous proposition that it defies reason to have it as an option. Does anyone in their right mind think that dropping a few tactical nuclear bombs on the fringes of Russia will not result in a counter-strike? Russia has made it abundantly clear that any nuclear strike against any part of its territory will result in a massive response - not a tit for tat - a full retaliatory counter-strike. What part of that don't we understand? Or, is this possibly a bluff in some catastrophic poker game where the ante is all life on the planet.

This then means that tactical strikes would be reserved for smaller, less powerful non-nuclear countries - which, of course, leads to a tremendous push in these assorted countries for these very weapons; this, in turn, pushes the whole world closer to the brink with each country that joins the "club".

Think about it - we're looking at a situation where India nuclear-fighting Pakistan could destroy the entire planet. Not Russia, China or America - India versus Pakistan. Israel, if it has the 200-400 nukes, it is reputed to have, could also destroy the whole globe if it launched all its missiles at major cities. The game is out-of-control.

The other option which seems to be rearing its venomous head is that of micro-nukes which can be disguised for public consumption as regular high-yield bombs. How many micro-nukes equal the damage of a major nuke? How long would it take to get to that point given the mind-numbing amount of ordinance being hurled at small countries like Afghanistan and Iraq? Does it matter if you're poisoned quickly or over a longer period?

The only reasonable path is an outright ban - immediate, complete, enforceable, and rigorous. Press your government for this, press the U.N. While the soonest possible disarmament is ideal, safety may dictate a slower, paced reduction but it must start now and continue unabated until nuclear weapons are a footnote in the history books.

If it feels like Time is short then it is!

Unsurvivable Weapons - Nuclear, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Future World by Louis Evan Palmer


Every once in a while, each of us will get a flash of the future, where we perceive something on another level and we are as sure as we can be that this thing we see will occur or exist in the future.

It may be an image we see in a movie or that we imagine while reading a book or staring into space but when we do see it, we immediately feel that it will exist just as we see it sometime in the future.

If we could collect all these special instances from various credible & incredible persons, it would make for a very interesting document I'm sure.

There have been any number of psychological & sociological experiments that have tried to explore our views on what's to come. Most are fairly ordinary and trying to look some months or 1, perhaps 2, years ahead. Others, however, are quite the opposite and depending on how much faith we put into them may, in fact, shake our conception of this world and time & space.

One investigation was conducted by Chet B. Snow & Helen Wambach who performed experiments over many years (first Helen alone and then with Chet). They regressed persons through hypnosis: first, to past lives and then, if circumstances were favourable, they also guided some into the future - which was more difficult for people to accept. The regressed persons saw a world where the population in 2100-2300 AD was only 2 billion. They saw four different human societies co-existing: one where about 1/3 of the total population were living in space and on other planets; where another 1/3 of the population were inside domes or underground; a little less than 1/5 of people were vegetarians living in harmony with nature in small settlements; and the remaining 1/5 of humanity had set themselves up in small rustic towns where they ranched and ate meat and locally-grown food. This was described in the book "Mass Dreams of the Future".

In what could be described as a remote viewing experiment, Joseph McMoneagle also wrote about the future in his book "The Ultimate Time Machine". One of the vivid images he saw was that of an Utopian society in the year 3000 A.D. He lists many tribulations in between now and then and, even utopia was not a permanent state of affairs, yet it is something for to look forward to.

My prognostications are more mundane, more of extrapolations, and only going out 100+ years. They are driven in large part by logic, intuition, and a fond hope & desire.

Who Makes What?
The global organization of productive capacity. There will have to be a profound discussion and agreement as to who is to produce what and how much. We can't have huge over-capacity in many key industries with everyone expecting to export their excess. In certain fields, each country will want to have some capability.

How are You Paying?
Money, money-like instruments and other financial tools will become subject to more rigorous scrutiny and regulation. "Finance Capitalism" and its rampant speculation and profit-driven instability will be reined in, hopefully forever. This will mean the demise of national currencies and their built-in drives towards war and economic depressions. Minimum & maximum incomes will be legislated and a system of credits will setup and they will be backed by the economic unit issuing it.

Contact with non-Human Sentients
This is inevitable and may have already happened. The entrance of non-human sentients on the world stage will trigger massive social & cultural changes. It may even involve Earth in confrontations and alliances within the greater galaxy.

Theory of Everything
Humans will uncover powerful secrets & dimensions which will confer (on some) a mind-boggling array of capabilities. Free non-polluting energy, non-linear travel, a world where humans are god-like in their ability to create. Very dangerous time & place.

Hidden Societies
This refers to physically hiding, not secret societies. The technology for hiding will outpace the technology for discovery. As it becomes technologically easier to effectively hide & survive, groups of people will start to do this on a broad scale. Because it will done in secret, it will be difficult to really know how widespread it becomes. In fact, how widespread it may be.

Allocation of Resources
As societies become more enmeshed, resources will be fairly, efficiently & officially allocated on the basis of need as well as the basis of contribution. It will no longer be acceptable to allow entire regions, populations, or classes of people, to starve or die from preventable conditions or diseases. This means that the control of many resources will be vested in independent transnational bodies. (no, this does not refer to profit-making corporations!!)

The Primacy of Mind
Society will move from a belief in the primacy of matter towards a belief in the primacy of mind. Quantum mechanics has started that process but because it is so revolutionary, it is taking a long time to penetrate through and through. Once it does it will have a tremendous impact on everything. It will go way beyond a belief in God being everywhere - in other words, this is not Medieval Times Redux.

Economic Units
A grid of standard economic units will be super-imposed over the world and used for administrative purposes. Having countries that are too large or too small or over-endowed or under-endowed will be considered as a threatening imbalance. More prosperity & education will level out differences and allow for populations to come under control, with zero or negative growth curves, and this, in turn, will allow for populations to migrate more easily and thus even out the load on the environment due to people pressures.

Future World, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


The Magic of Polarization by Louis Evan Palmer


Polarization is part of a duality puzzle we continuously find ourselves immersed in but, for the most part, it remains focused on our conscious roles in magnifying any separations we discover. It's about intensifying divisions, celebrating threats and exhorting to action - be it preventive or corrective; in many cases, it fosters aggression, pure and simple.

The conscious role in polarization, among other things, is the public discourse and accompanying actions, yet, as with all else, most of the activity is beneath the surface. The conscious component acts as a catalyst at some points, a leader at other points, also as a follower, a resister, perhaps an opponent. It seems though that our motivation and intention, whether examined or not, is what drives the process the most - it colours it, animates it, shapes it.

If our intentions are for what we might categorize as the greater "good" then polarization will amount to a radicalization in that direction - action for good, opposition to negativity and malice and harm. We might with some trepidation call this a "good" polarization.

More often though, our intentions are for a much more circumscribed "good", a good that is very specific, usually fragile and under threat, and it is then that this stunning metamorphosis can take place, whereby, like a collapsing star, our good intention, or the suite of our good intentions that form a particular cluster, collapses in on itself and becoming so dense, becoming impervious, it explodes outwards in a paroxysm of unthinking action - a reflex at this point. Our particular "good" is safely ensconced in this vortex of gravity & density & energy and, almost by definition, everything outside has become the threat, the "other", the enemy.

This is the true magic of polarization, its ability to create a very special universe of "love" for a given "good" surrounded by a threatening gulf of menace which must be dispersed somehow, or transmuted, or, more typically, destroyed.

Naturally, polarization is a way of looking at things, its alchemy is a way of organizing the world which carries with it dangers - foremost, it is the beginning of a process of creating an enemy. If we can look far enough down the road, over the hill that is the future, we can see that this first step towards differentiating can, if due care is not religiously adhered to, lead us towards a fully-fledged enemy.

And, as we know, enemies are made to be destroyed.

The Magic of Polarization, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 
He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Friday, November 03, 2006

Best We Forget by Louis Evan Palmer






There is always a waxing and waning in the effusion of patriotic fervour associated with Remembrance Day. It has an uptick when there is an anniversary or when there are Canadian troops committed somewhere. It tends to drop out of consciousness when times are good.

While some sit back now and make poetic statements about freedom and sacrifice, there is not much talk about the futility of many wars or the bloodthirstiness of their prosecution. There is also not much in the way of mass media coverage of how specific wars got started or who benefited financially or what nations advanced their causes or sphere of power.

It was said that many of those who marched off to World War I were enthusiastic and anticipated being home and victorious in a few weeks. It was an adventure and a chance to make triumphant noises over a prostrate enemy while crowing about British or French or German greatness.

We do want to remember and having a day dedicated to it certainly helps but it also moulds it into a public event which means into a propaganda event. Now it attempts to highly praise our troops in Afghanistan, to glorify in a subdued way. Forgeting about whether there was any legal justification for being there or how NATO got itself hoodwinked into assuming the bloody mantle of leadership from the United States, having troops dying strongly invites the expression of the most primal type of chest-thumping, flag-waving, thought-numbing jingoism.

Having a day like this makes us admire the soldiers of the past whether we should or not. Defending yourself well is admirable. Being able to fight well is advisable. But extolling the dead and their victorious living comrades put us into a mindset where war is an answer. Defending means someone has invaded your territory - that foreign troops are actually on your soil - and currently that is only true about us.

We have a Remembrance Day advertisement that shows a crusty bloated old soldier in some Canadian Legion facsimile of a uniform standing beside a teen-aged boy who is dressed in what appears to be a cadet's uniform. By showing us this linkage, it gives us every indication that the fateful process of germinating the next crop of cannon fodder is underway, one generation setting off the other.

Ringing bells and shooting off guns and blowing sombre horns shouldn't be such a big part of our remembrance. Preventing wars and understanding their causes should get more of our attention. Honouring non-military non-conflict-based peace-makers and peace-keepers should get more of our attention. We don't need any more of the ancient Roman desert-making peace - the peace of death and desolation.

But we constantly peer through a portal on war, the tragic failure of peace, where it's typically portrayed as vile and wrenching (for us) yet exciting and intense. It's part of an atavistic subculture that seems to dominate world politics even as it's denied. The warriors are listened to, the peace-makers are set aside for other less dangerous times.

Our extravagant memorializing has the opposite effect - it may not glorify war per se but it glorifies sacrifice which can be worse because it's more encompassing; worse not in itself but in its potential for misuse as a powerful tool of manipulation. The end result is to stifle dissent and ostracize critics. We make for ourselves a drum-beating tyranny-lite and hope it goes away after the war, hoping as well that the current war will end even though almost all its causes are still present.

Sometimes remembering the way we do on Remembrance Day is a way of denying the senselessness of it, its preventability, where the fault for these things really lies. It begs some questions though: Can you be good at something you don't practice? Can you practice something that you don't, at some level, admire? Can you admire something without wanting to try it?

Best We Forget, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dueling with Duality by Louis Evan Palmer


Duality is a natural state for people. We learn that basic "fact" early on and never quite seem to shake it. Typically, we never have reason to. It is a state where we feel, without obvious effort on our part, that almost every thing we sense has something which stands opposite to it or in opposition to it or apart from it in some relationship.

Duality seems to have aspects of a "state", aspects of a "relationship" and also to merely reflect the presence or absence of something where we often feel that the absence is a force or substance of equal stature to the one we sense by its presence.

For example, cold is the absence of heat. Heat is the presence of energy, cold is its absence. Yet, we feel cold as a force on its own even when factually it's nothing, it's the absence of heat.

Another clear example, darkness is the absence of light. Again, we usually feel darkness as a force on its own but it's an absence we detect and to which we react.

It's a perfect incarnation of the binary concept where 1s and 0s are the substance and 1s are the presence and 0s are the absence. However, this concept presents an interesting twist whereby position and relation give meaning to the absence beyond just being nothing.

Another idea to think about - if we looking at either a presence (say, heat) or an absence (say, cold), we may never notice it if it didn't vary. It is the contrast which allows us to observe many, perhaps all, phenomena. If, in fact, we cannot perceive things which do not vary then who knows what myriad of "things" we co-exist with but not not perceive because they do not vary. ..... like the source of everything.

We must also remember that context is part of the equation: we apprehend something like heat in a universe of space and time and mass and energy; we detect the presence or absence of one thing while situated in a realm on other things in which the presence or absence manifests itself.

To touch on the variance theme, we can go one further, if something exists which we cannot perceive in any way (to date), then we are not aware of its presence or absence. If that element were significant then our whole definition of reality would become suspect.

Thus far, we have a presence or an absence; we have a state which varies; and, we have a relationship wherein an absence or a presence gains additional meaning; we have context; and we have that which we cannot apprehend.

Some of the common things that we consider to be related in a dualistic relationship: love versus hate - hate seems to be more than the absence of love, where an absence of love seems to imply a frigidity, a lack of emotion, a lack of interest or empathy for someone; hate draws to mind, an active force directed at someone but with malice and ill-will. Is coldness and no feeling the opposite of both Love and Hate? It is if we want to maintain duality as a balance of presence versus absence. However, that's probably not how most people think of it.

Other potential dualities are more of the type where one thing stands apart from some other thing in some kind of a relationship. "Here" versus "There" or "Now" versus "Then". These are more of the measuring kinds of dualities - the one thing is located at a different point on some measuring standard versus another thing - in one case, it's a measure of space as in "here" versus "there"; in another case, it's a measure of time as in "now" versus "then".

"You" versus "Me" can be looked on in this way but it's really more than that though - it's one type of being versus another instance of that type of being.

"Motion" versus "Stillness" is an absence versus presence duality. "Conscious" versus "Unconscious" may be this type unless we use the more common meaning of "Unconscious" as a type of consciousness of which we are unaware - then it's two types of consciousness.

Some would argue that "Evil" is the absence of "Good" and in a similar manner that "Hate" is the absence of "Love" but it doesn't seem that way.

Reaching into the physical world again, we have a "Particle" versus a "Wave". Here is where an interesting thing happened. It was regarded for hundreds of years that phenomenon that exhibited these characteristics had to be one or the other and it was up to us to figure out which one a given thing was. At the turn of the 20th century, it began to be realized that a photon, for example, was actually both a particle and a wave. How it was both became the focus of another profound debate which is still going on today.

The Wave - Particle debate can be considered similar in some ways to the relationships a given person may have with other members of one's family - say for a male: son, brother, uncle, nephew, father, grandfather... we don't consider it an either-or proposition and yet it's the same person who has these very different relationships - is it also a duality of sorts? Maybe a photon has a "wave" relationship with certain physical aspects of reality and a "particle" relationship with other physical aspects. If so, a photon, or any other particle of this type, may have other non-wave non-particle relationships that affect its interaction with the physical world.

Is duality a lesser reality, a circumscribed version of the real thing, which allows us to navigate this universe but never actually apprehend it directly? Is it possible to adjust, or un-adjust, the observer so as to see the reality from which the duality emerges? Since it appears that the final arbiter emanates from consciousness, it would lead us to conclude that we can apprehend the reality in which duality is embedded.

What changes would ensue from this type of breakthrough? Or, perhaps "breakthrough" is not the right word as it implies something new when, in fact, it's something prior - maybe something like "unbirth" is a more accurate way of phrasing it.

It's reminiscent of sages who say we live in two realities - the dualistic one and the one from which it emanates. The feeling is that it can only be a "good" to see beyond duality.

Dueling with Duality, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Co-Creation by Louis Evan Palmer


Its Source

Its Purpose

Its Substance

There is a single substance out of which everything in this universe is created. And if so, then everything is this substance be it awareness or consciousness or material or not.

In another universe, might it be another substance? No. It might be another manifestation of the substance, there may be different rules but the ultimate substance must be the same.

Yet there is something which precedes even the single primordial substance and that is the formless, limitless ocean of potential and awareness out of which the universes emerge.

In the entirety of creation, it is easy to imagine a vast range of sentient beings with an equally vast range of creative power. Creatures who are so powerful as to be able to create worlds and indeed whole universes.

Is it possible that the myths that point to powerful angelic beings are reflections of a reality where powerful beings possess the power of creating realms of existence in which beings such as humans can live?

This could lead us to think that the universe we know might be the creation of an extremely powerful being and our entrance into it is by choice and our remaining in it is also by choice abetted by delusion and unpaid debts.

Let us call this awesome creature an angel and name her Gloria. She may resemble other figures of mythology like ISIS or even, to some, Lucifer, but the idea is the same - a being who can create worlds, who could create an entire universe.

Our Universe is then a creative object composed of a single primordial force & substance but created by an apparently unique entity, by Gloria. Now the humans in Gloria's universe are amazed and humbled by Gloria's handiwork and outpour their praise of her - they worship her, they call her God. And it is God if God means the single source and fabric and soul of everything but it's not God if it means "who made it?" although the maker of the maker is part of whatever that creation then makes. If that secondary creator actually exists, of course.

This sets up a dynamic that if we attribute the wrong source to the universe we live in, we will never get to the correct destination. We will always stop short because we'll have mistaken the apparent boundaries of this universe for real boundaries. We will then stay in the wonderful world of the co-creators while longing for the ultimate source.

If something like this were true, then everything about this universe including afterlifes and choices to do with reincarnation are part of the chosen existence.

"Free Will" is the energy that drives the manifested realities. "Free Will" is the allowance that Love demands so as not to impose but it, in turn, enables the contention and relation that drives us further into the chosen created reality and away from the unchosen uncreated reality.

Are these the kinds of things that our various myths are trying to convey to us?

The "fall" is our emergence into this life in this universe. "Satan" is the being who created this universe to entice and entrap us and to convince us that he is "God". Or when the Buddha admonishes us for clinging to illusion.

We add to this universe with our own co-creation which goes some more way towards making "it" seem more real again. Gloria has mesmerized us and holds us in thrall as we live life after life in her universe and feed all that spiritual and mental energy into maintaining and expanding her magnificent creation.

Co-Creation, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.