Sunday, November 30, 2008

NYT's Thomas Friedman Equates Nature with "The Market" by Louis Evan Palmer

Andy Barry, CBC Radio's morning host, recently quoted Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, in another of an increasing number of live-radio faux-intellectual moments. Mr. Barry's efforts were directed at sharing what to him seemed to be observations that verged on the transcendent. (One can tell as much from who one quotes as what one quotes) In this case, Andy quotes from one of premier apologists of the American Imperium. Even some 3 decades removed, perhaps Mr. Barry is still too much of an ex-pat American to be hosting the flagship show on the flagship Canadian network and he can't help but drag us into the pontifications of one of America's key propagandists.

In the article from which Mr. Barry's reads, "The Post-Binge World", Thomas Friedman quotes from his friend, the head of EcoTech International, certainly as ominous & threatening of a corporate name as one can imagine. The head of EcoTech equates "Mother Nature" to bits of science and nothing more. "Chemistry, Biology & Physics" to be exact. There is a simple name for this way of looking at things and it is neither new nor obscure - it's called the mechanistic view. To be sure, there is no "Mother" in this "Mother Nature".

It's at this point that Thomas starts drawing parallels. In Mr. Friedman's world, a contrivance called "the market" not only exists but exists on the same scale & majesty as "Mother Nature" and with as mechanistic a heart as well. There is no deliberate mis-reporting in Thomas' domain, no skewed inflation rates or GDP or dubious debt & deficit figures. There also is no realizations or actions on the part of the largest investment banks that they could use interest rate derivatives to manipulate national and international rates. Sure, millions of small-time lemming investors can be jerked into a cascade of selling and buying, but the surreptitious suppression of commodity or gold prices is ignored. Thomas also willfully neglects to allude to the rampant conflicts of interest rotting through the whole system and the ethics-destroying complicity it not only fosters but insists upon.

Mr. Friedman's naive adherence to a mythic "market" is merely cant, a vicious ideological cant, the same kind that can refer to a million dead children as an "acceptable" loss. He may not have said that particular statement but he apologized for it, maybe even as an unstoppable force of nature. Again, Thomas is merely asserting another mechanistic viewpoint. This time he elevates this sorry patchwork of agreements and debts and contracts and a myriad of goods and services and den-of-thieves stock & commodity exchanges that we call "the market" onto the same level as his un-motherly Nature. What others call the "globalization of poverty", Thomas calls the "democratization of finance".

Thomas and his ilk offer prosperity but deliver a vast casino economy where the game is rigged in favour of the super-wealthy and their lackeys. Friedman asserts "The World is Flat" and it certainly is in the sense that it has lost its diversity and depth as it is distorted by a new-conservative house of mirrors. In this world, torture is used to protect freedom, and freedom is taken away to protect law and order and Mother Nature is the same as "The Market".

NYT's Thomas Friedman Equates Nature with "The Market", Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2008 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

If the World is created by the Songs of Whales by Louis Evan Palmer

We think we know and that's usually where the problem starts. We think we know about space and time. We think we know about our own existence. We think we know about history, identity, the reasons for things, and truth and consequences.

"Realisticism" replaces reality. Realisticism doesn't need to know the whole truth or even most of the truth. It gets mixed in with, and mixed up with, pragmaticism. "Results" become the barometer of truth and results, as we quickly discover, are very relativistic.

In the 1960s, the Milky Way was the Universe. The experts said so as did the textbooks, the newspapers and the scientists talking on the movie newsreels. This was after "E=MC2" and nuclear bombs. We knew the Universe and we described it and we taught it and it was spectacularly wrong. It is incredibly instructive to listen to old recordings of the experts as they tell us without any equivocation that the Milky Way is the Universe and describe various aspects of it including its approximate size and the number of stars inhabiting it. It was not only wrong, it was wrong in such a fundamental way that it highlights our profound ignorance of the type of which Francis Bacon warned - "a little knowledge". The heady arrogance of the slightly enlightened.

For hundreds of years we had three spatial dimensions. Then some eighty years ago, we determined that we also had had one temporal dimension the whole while but didn't realize it. This obvious theory of three spatial dimensions had the status of conviction that was so deep and hidden to us that alernatives were not even imagined let alone discussed. String or membrane theory now postulates that we might have as many as eleven dimensions. No-one really believes it. They can only exist without our noticing them because they're very small. The ramifications are enormous.

Some scientists claim that if quantum mechanics is completely true then our universe is constantly splitting off into each of the possibilities that arise in every moment so that we are actually in the flux of an incomprehensible raft of universes and selves.

Who's to say it cannot possibly be true? What about an Electric Universe? Is there another set of universes composed of anti-matter? Does Dark Energy or Matter exist? Or, other sentient beings?

Gerry O'Donnell is a remote viewer and a teacher of remote viewing who claims that whales sing the world into existence and without them the world would fade away. The idea of sound as a generative force has been around a while but has been subsumed by the more recent and forcefully promulgated idea of ours of light as that force. Is there a music of the spheres? Is it at all possible that whales could do such a thing? If we say "no" what's it based on other than ignorance. We must admit "we don't know". Our understandings must widen and deepen and lengthen as must our memories and our feelings.

If we pause long enough and deep enough, we might almost hear those haunting calls in far-off cold waters. Rather than safely saying "no", we should cautiously ask "how?"


If the World is created by the Songs of Whales, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2008 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.