Sunday, June 25, 2006

Erasing Borders by Louis Evan Palmer


Embassies are generally small - the size of the Embassy itself and some acreage around it. (excepting the obscene American Embassy now under construction in Baghdad)

One of the key characteristics of an Embassy being that its land is ceded to
the foreign country so that it is in effect that country extended into the host

Naturally, that allowance presupposes a number of things including that the foreign country is to behave peacefully and in good faith.

The proposal is to extend the notion of an Embassy into full-fledged cities
or towns, typically, on a reciprocal basis.

So that, you might see something like a regular, likely showcase, Canadian town of, say, 20,000 Canadians somewhere in Japan and a similar showcase town of 20,000 Japanese somewhere in Canada.

Think positively about the possibilities!

Increased understanding, interaction and cooperation. Increased trade and cultural & educational exchanges. More chance for the host country to learn the language of a given foreign nation.

On a Realpolitic side, more pressure for peaceful relations with a large number of potential hostages at hand - hence, the reciprocal aspect will be more important in some agreements versus others.

And this hostage factor would be a driving rationale for doing this with putative enemies.

War is failure. Even the threat of war is failure for it inevitably goes from being invoked rarely to being invoked often; from being used rarely to being used often. The United States is the glaring example of that although there might be some debate on the "rarely" part of that equation.

Creating Embassy cities around the world would create a tremendous force for peace for all the reasons outlined above.

To truly succeed, however, it will be incumbent on the richer nations to finance some cities for poorer countries. Treaties would be in order along with limitations on certain rights & laws - gun ownership leaps to mind,
and requirements regarding health & environmental regulations.

Think of Canada with 20 to 30 Embassy cities around the world and their impact. Say, A Canadian town in Russia, a Russian town in Canada. Similarly, in China, in Eqypt, in France, Poland, Austrailia, Indonesia, Brazil.

Then think of the USA doing this - although converting their military bases into civilian cities would be a better approach.

Think of Germany doing this, Sweden, the UK.

A relatively simple thing, it's already being done for military purposes, but with the potential for an enormous positive impact.

Ask your government to consider it!

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
Erasing Borders, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Drawing Lots by Louis Evan Palmer

When Rulers
are not

There have been numerous studies as to the make-up of various legislative bodies and they tend to reflect the same issues: not many women, not many minorities, not a range of ages, not a range of cultures, not a range of occupations.

There have been reasons offered as to the range of occupations - the main one being that not many jobs allow you to leave for 1-4 years at a time.

One of the occupations where a lengthy absence may not hurt you is the law and since being a lawyer is also a good background when making laws we have a goodly number of lawyers as Members of Parliament.

One way to make broader representation a reality is to go back to what the ancient Greeks, the founders of democracy, used as a means of broadening the roles of rulers and ruled. They drew lots, you then served for a year.

Canada could use the Senate as its place for these members. We could appoint the senate each year by lot to a one year term. They would get the same pay they would have received in their current job or a set minimum if unemployed. Provisions would be made to take care of various requirements such as child care, transportation, running households, running businesses.

But then we would quickly get a modicum of representation. Senators appointed in this fashion could run for Parliament later if they wanted to and could get sufficient support. So this approach would also draw new blood into the system and provide training and exposure.

Forget about electing Senators or the current system of appointing, use a lottery to give Canada a true mix of Canadians examining, discussing and voting on the laws of the land.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
Drawing Lots, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Canada at 100 by Louis Evan Palmer

at 100+ Million

An internal economy that could sustain itself has been pegged in the past at 100+ million. It may have edged up to 110 or 120 million persons but whatever it is it should be near-term target for Canada.

By near-term, I'm suggesting within 10 years. Eyes may be rolling at the prospect of bringing in 9 million people a year for the next 10 years but it can be done given the will and the focus.

Could Canada build 6 cities of 1.5 million persons in one year? Yes - an effort but it can be done.

Could Canada absorb 9 million persons into its culture and society? Yes - again, a bigger effort but given the right mix of immigrants: age, gender, skills & attitudes, it can also be done.

Most likely, such an effort would get diluted but there should be a conscious
acknowledgement that speed is a factor in protecting the Canadian Confederation.

As Canada's population increases, it will affect the power equation in the world and things being what they are, counter forces would come into play.

A national program of this magnitude would encourage innovation in terms of cost and speed of construction across the entire gamut of requirements from roads and pipes and wires to houses, transportation and services. It could open up numerous oportunities for Canadian companies.

It probably needs a catchy slogan so how about "10 for 10" as in, 10 million
persons a year for 10 years. Or "9 for 10" or whatever, but it must be rapid.

This would be a strategic step towards the preservation of the Confederation and its prosperity and peace.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
Canada at 100, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Waves by Louis Evan Palmer

The message
is not the medium

It's a safe bet that most people don't really know what a wave is.

Some definitions of waves are quite certain when they talk about distortions propagated through a medium. These expositions then go on to describe how the distortion agitates the medium and this passes to the nearby part of the medium and so on. The medium itself does not travel - only the distortion - which is often called the vibration or oscillation.

But then you might ask - what about light waves? This will lead you into the realm of photons and electromagnetic radiation. But now we're told that a medium is not required. It is referred to as a self-propagating wave. Since there is no medium, we must presume that the energy itself is traveling but in this undulating manner. On top of that, it seems to be acting like it is composed of particles.

It is a wonderful maze we're in now. Some advise that waves are not the correct focus, that we should be focusing on fields - the mathematical variety. They and their matrices and vectors and different types of theoretical spaces contain the waves and their associated phenomena.

It does seem significant whether a wave propagates through a medium or not. Is it possible that waves that progagate through a medium are substantively different from waves that propagate through a vacuum; or, is there some type of medium through which the electromagnetic radiation propagates?

This will drag us into the ether debate which was mainstream a long time ago but is now no longer accepted as an explanation.

So we're back to - a wave is a particle, is a wave, is both. A wave propagates through a medium or is self-propagating. A wave exists only as part of a field. Waves are everywhere and everything.

The only safe prediction is that we will have a different view of waves in ten years - probably dramatically different.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
Waves, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,


Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Gods by Louis Evan Palmer

Why One?
Why Two?
Why Any?

It's not difficult to believe that there are beings as far "above" us, in power or understanding at least, as we feel we are "above", say, ants. Beings who for all intents and purposes are "gods" to us.

If there is an underlying unity to things, as in one God, at what level does it apply?

Are there layers of unity? - where there is a unity (i.e. one God) at layer one which differs from the unity (one God) that exists at layer two and so on to infinity.

And, if there is a multiverse where even an entire universe like the one we believe ourselves to be in is but a grain of sand on an infinite beach of other universes, could there not be "gods" or a "God" for each of them.

Unless we then travel to the substrate for the mutliverse, wherein the God of Gods dwells. If that is even possible?

Why is a hierarchy of gods such an odious concept when we have it for everything else?

It is possible that we can only ever "talk" to our designated god and the superior beings between us and our local "god" are who we can appeal to and no-one else.

Just as it is possible that there are no gods or God because there is no "us" and we are all part of the godhood and for some unfathonable reason are not able to see or understand that.

In fact, the most odious concept is that there would be a single entity who was "God" but it would only be known to selected persons and then only to other persons who received this information (about the single "God") and believed it and followed it because of faith or coercion or custom. And that people would be killed because of it even though these "faiths" would condemn killing.

The ancient idea that religions were different to express different facets of godliness seems remarkably tolerant and profound. Their candid fluidity of movement between physical and spiritual and past and future is invigorating and calming. There is no necessity for aggression or defensiveness. No need for trials for crimes of impiety or crusades or jihads.

God can be gods, can be this or that, can be physical or spiritual or both or neither.

A god becomes false through the machinations of people: people who imagine things, people who commune with evil spirits, people who want to control other people.

Maybe in a very real way, we make the gods ourselves - our belief, our obesiance, our memory and rituals.

Whether a small local god is a small local god or a manifestation of the one god should be irrelevant.

One big God can be just as evil and blood-thirsty as many small gods. And isn't it really - God is as God does.

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
The Gods, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sustenance by Louis Evan Palmer


Until fairly recently, it was posited that all life on Earth was sustained ultimately by the sun's heat & light. Only the Sun.

Then the mysterious heat vents in the Ocean were found to be teaming with life - but, a somewhat alien kind of life - one that was nourished by the heat and chemicals from the vent. No Sun.

Now there's even talk that perhaps the life at the vents preceded other life on Earth.

It seems that every time we look we seem to find more complexity and diversity - Life finding every possible means to manifest and express itself.

And, in that regard, it shouldn't surprise us later if we find creatures or entities that feed on energy including types of energy that we don't know about or that we don't recognize or measure as such. Or specific components of energy.

For example, strong emotions. Who can deny the feeling that strong emotions
have power and can be projected and resonate and can be amplified? That would seem to make them an ideal candidate for consumption.

To a more limited extent , we humans, feed on emotions right now, but we could find entities that only or primarily feed on human emotion, or perhaps, more generally, on mammalian emotions.

The implications of this one conjecture are huge. But, think of the myriad other sources of sustenance for properly endowed creatures.

Might it all be one vast eating gallery!?

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
Sustenance, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

You by Louis Evan Palmer


Often the answer you give quickly is smarter and more revelatory than a more reasoned reply.

Is your voice you? Is the image and sound that is received by your eyes & ears & body you? Is your memory you? Is your body you? Your feelings? Your thoughts? Is your child you? Are your clothes or house or car you?

It's likely you answered "Yes" to at least one of these questions.

Is a tape recording of your voice you? Is a picture of your body you? Is what you write or type you? Is the music you compose or play you?

Is it only partly you? What part of it, what part of you? If part of it is not you, what or who is it?

Are your intentions and motivations you? If they change, is it you? Scientists report that subatomic particles are exchanged within an atom at a rate of millions per second. What if your thoughts, feelings, memories made, life processes and everything else were changing and exchanging at the same kind of rate? Would that be you?

How can you be something that you seem to have no knowledge of? How can there be an unconscious? Is there a soul? Is your soul you? What is your soul? Where is it? Is there a spirit? Is your spirit separate from your soul? Is there a spirit and a soul?

Are you you alone or are you mixed in with other You-s?

Who are you really? What is real?

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer
You, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Circularity - Arc Two by Louis Evan Palmer

What is Up
on the Surface
of a Sphere?

or Right?

When you define something, in a sense, you create it. Or rather, you create a particular manifestation of it - the manifestation reflected by your definitions.

Our whole human consciousness enterprise is just such a manifestation.

Again, the premise is that language is one of the keys. And, here when we but scratch the surface, we find ourselves going in circles, up to and out of rabbit holes galore.

Using the "The Free Dictionary", we see that "thought" is "the act or process of thinking".

We see that "thinking" is "to have or formulate in the mind".

That the "Mind" is "the human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory and imagination"

"Consciousness" is "an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation"

"Cognitive" is "being or relating to or involving cognition"

"Cognition" is "the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning"

Any given definition never quite satisfies as it perforce must involve other to-be-defined terms, or, the focus of the definition changes: it gets bigger or smaller in scope, more detailed or more abstract; often we are given synonyms for the word we are trying to define.

And yet, we feel that we understand. Is that a definition of delusion?

To end this Arc - let's look at the word for the concept of One but from the perspective of different languages. In English, the word is "One". In French, the word is "Un or Une". In Italian, it's "uno, una". In Swedish, "man, en". In Japanese, it's "Ichi". Etc. Etc. We could line up hundreds of words like this that all mean "One" to their speakers.

They stand there, all different sounds that somehow evoke the same idea. We might argue that the meaning is not the same across the board but for a simple meaning like "One", we might feel that it is as close to the same as it
can get.

To say that a given word is a key to a given meaning is out the window when we look across many languages. The meta-language, if there is one, is what's being sought. Or, are we beyond language at that first point? What is the language of understanding?

It seems that we can safely say it's not any language that we consciously know.

Copyright 2006  Louis Evan Palmer
Circularity - Arc Two, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,