Saturday, December 25, 2010

Scholarly Xmas 2

Our Xmas was low key again this year. We played with the symbolism some, allowing allusions of more ancient religions and philosophies to percolate through, augmenting the advent calendar with dragon symbols.

Tara and I opened gifts from family and friends. Gayle, that's a mighty fine wooden jewelry box for Tara. Mom and Julie, those were perfect and thoughtful kindesses. Thanks to the Nally family for all the homemade cookies. Carla, we think of you and Stevie. Have you been hearing from cousin Pat? Greetings to relatives in around Seattle and Bellingham.

For intellectual fare, Tara and I looked into the darkness, where the Light of Peace is most needed, watching two of Michael Moore's classics, interesting for their "speech and debate" techniques. Tara had just discovered his blog posts about Wikileaks and was interested in his movies, plus last year's Xmas had also featured historical scholarship into the barriers to world peace.

I'd not seen The Big One before. Tara thought Phil Knight of Nike came off OK for taking this bull by the horns. Most CEOs seem on the shy side and find Moore too much the extrovert (he's more like a politician in that way).

North Americans are still in much the same pickle as this pre-2000 movie depicts, over-relying on the military's welfare payments to corporate contractors, extended from borrowings against future work. The Global U is still bedeviled by debilitating meme viruses that weaken our curriculum. Rewiring to make cleanup ops pay more bills requires significant upgrades in our trains (habits) of thought.

It's that "knowledge economy" we have trouble understanding, given all that open data, all those free bits flying around, informing and misinforming. We pray we're becoming more enlightened on balance, that the net is in our collective favor. I agree with the Dalai Lama that it's more about realizing the value of empathy and compassion than about wrapping one's mind around lots of data. Western philosophy came to the same conclusion in Wittgenstein's work. Not that it's either/or, but you need to have a heart to keep your head.

Our prayers to family in western Pennsylvania and to those providing health care to our clan in those parts. We think of relatives on their maritime voyage, their near and dear in Alaska (hi Ricky).

Greetings to others here around Portland, in Tennessee, Florida, Minnesota and of course Whittier.

Greetings to Friends in Arcata, Myrtle Point, and to the Olarte family in Vancouver. Thanks for the greeting from DemocracyLab.

Best wishes, fond memories. May we continue pulling together to make this a better world.