Let's begin with a link to a TED lecture by a favorite author of mine---James Howard Kunstler on suburbia, architecture and dispair--it's a great lecture--in fact TED is a site that i simply love---being able to actual view lectures by individuals whose books you have read and been impressed by, or to simply wander amongst the lecture offerings makes one feel that you are the luckiest graduate school student ever. On a random basis you can walk into any lecture hall and stay or leave dependent on your mood on that day.... this lecture is so great I had to put it up here---and persons who actually think need to bookmark the TED lecture site.
The item we all pursue--happiness---a recent article puts forth the proposition that the world is actually getting happier...according the the article in question, (linked below) the US ranks out 16Th on the scale of nations ranked by levels of personal happiness. Not too bad. Although of course societies like Denmark,to me this is no surprise, ranks 1st in personal happiness. The happiness survey covers the world with 350,000 responses and has been worked since 1981. A friend of mine and i, have an ongoing debate over the aspects of northern European socialism. He of course hates it, i believe it to be a model for a mature, workable society...I'll have to throw this up at him next time we argue over this issue--however it will make him unhappy which will lower our national score--
we cannot fix anything anymore?
A link to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal which answers this question using as an example the rebuild of the world trade center site...which is apparently going nowhere fast and construction of new structures on the site, based on ability and action so far, have a very,very. low probability of ever occurring. I have for some time now felt that our culture has lost the ability to create, follow through and build anything of any importance--the real things, for design, architecture and construction are happening in China and Dubai when it comes to mega buildings and organized, logical construction. We have seemingly lost the ability to actually build anything other than walmart super stores. Go here read this, it is a viewpoint not often heard today.
Ever dream of setting up your own county?
There are a few of these self-made micro countries. I was familiar with some---the pirate radio stations on old military platforms off the coast of England---little island nations in the pacific--blahblah--but i discovered there are quite a few more than i ever realized founded by individuals who as a hobby, build their own country. They print money, write constitutions, have customs requirements etc.---most for the sake of fun, making a statement and then again some because they are the ones wearing the tinfoil hat over there who actually believe this shit...but lonely planet has produced a travel guide to these personal micro-countries if you wish to take an organized trip to view--laugh-or be preached at by their rulers...just cool i think.
I am happy that i have been able to pull aside a little time lately to be able to sit and simply read.The book of the week for me is "THE POST AMERICAN WORLD" by Fareed Zakaria. This is an excellent book examining the fact that the world has changed around the United States and our new place in what has become the true new world order. (definately not Bush the 1st.'s concept of an America in charge, new world order) Zakaria sets out economic, social, and political power changes which have/are occurring in the world around us and how our culture must learn how to play well with others...or else. China, India, and Brazil will have to be considered in everything we as a nation do in the future...the idea of unilateral action by the US on anything is truly over...we will have to become a mature member of the world community if we wish to survive---we will have to compete for industry--compete for investment---to me this is a good thing---if we can handle it---if our stupid populace can grow beyond the 'god bless America' thing and understand that god blesses everyone in the world not just the US and it's trailer parks. The pinhead crowd of our citizens will have to have a huge Epiphany regarding our nation's place in the new world. I recommend this book as long as you are a thinking person...if you prefer not to think of how the world and our place as a nation in it is changing then stay away from it, you will just become upset.
I'm positioned in the valley of a wave graph-- project wise. This is normal, and i am working on controlling frustration....and not doing too badly.
Our water barrel project is about half done--barrels in place, guttering mostly up directing the porch rain water run off to the barrels--a small organized system when complete which will allow me to water plants, animals and garden with natural rainwater. Although i have been unable to get much happening this year with square foot gardening----i had to make some kind of a start to get the project rolling so i ordered several varieties of speciality, 'small', vegetable seeds from the net--sweet pumpkins the size of a soft-ball, beans designed specifically to be grown on balcony gardens, a small old-timey variety of Amish watermelon---i thought i would take the time to find these types of small, unusual seeds since i cannot, in reality do very much on this project right now. We have however planted five trees over the past ten days..planting trees makes you feel as if you have done something both for yourself and for the future. I give shade to someone not yet born.
It may appear as if i have been throwing link after link after link at you, go here blahblah, go there blahblah...this is too cool, go here blahblah. I apologize. This is not an attempt to avoid providing original content....rather...
my brain lately has been burning up.... attempting to access and analyize all the material i am personally interested in..thoughts and concepts that amaze me, intrigue me, demand thought of me...concepts and designs by others in the world i want to put into practice in my own life and there simply does not seem to be enough time in one life to do,read, think about, everything that attracts my interest. I am like the monkey with my hand in the jar of knowledge grasping multiple items in my hand and i will not let go. There are times when i get frustrated by this---but never for long, because i would rather be this way than the alternative.
Question everything---demand intelligence and action from your leaders. Do art, play music, plant trees, fight the oil companies---clean up your alley even if it belongs to the city....demand a quality life---rage against the machine.