Post for Aug 21-Aug 27 2011 (Tidbits and Nuggets)

TaN: What is more dangerous than knowing what one’s rights are is the abuse of those rights – ignorance to the limitations.  This is in relation and response to the controversial (so-called) “art” exhibit at the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) – as an attempt to put things in proper perspective.

From what limited information that I can gather, the so-called “artist” claims – along with his like-minded friends – that they have or are exercising their right to expression, not understanding that nothing in this world is absolute and limitless (even our natural God-given rights).  The exercise of one’s rights without boundaries (i.e., without responsibility or accountability) is anarchy.  No one, not even so-called “artists” – personally, I don’t see any art in the controversial issue but then again, I’m no artist – can exercise their rights “with impunity”, regardless of the intention.  [Matapang lang dahil alam niya he can “get away with it”.  Subukan lang niya sa ibang religion…remember Salman Rushdie incident and the more recent Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoon in Denmark – and they are tame by comparison.]

As far as the claim of the so-called “artist” as to the intention of the work – which is to “shock” and “awaken” – though I consider myself a Catholic, I am not the slightest moved by the work.  I am neither aghast nor do I consider it blashphemy.  However, the sensibilities of others should always be at the foremost when we express ourselves in society.  To not do so is not only a sign of irresponsibility and a total lack of consideration for others but outright utter immaturity.  I do not express contempt nor indignation but pity and dismay.  This is another proof to the accuracy of the saying, Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

TaN: Listening to a video just a while ago (by Sherri Tenpenny, MD, about vaccination), I had an epiphany that I should have had long ago.  Another oversight of addressing the symptoms (what conventional medicine is advocating and doing) instead of the prolem or root cause (what true natural medicine should be or is doing) is in the event that the problem disappears or becomes resolved (whether on its own or otherwise), we would not realize or know about it and will tend to continue to address the symptoms.  Or, should we think that by addressing the symptoms, we were able to address the problem, we may decide to continue “addressing” as a “preventive” measure.  This is dangerous as most protocols are designed to be terminated once the problem disappears or is resolved and, by continuing with the protocol, we could be creating another problem – a possibly even worse problem.  To continue to “medicate” a condition that no longer exist or no longer requires continuing with the medical protocol will cause serious health ramifications.  It could even lead to life-threatening medical conditions, like diabetes and like cancer – if there was none before.

TaN: As a rejoinder to my previous TaN on ES Economics, it is not too late to turn the tide on the slippery road down environmental and self-destruction.  Although the best way to restore the equilibrium of the planet is simply to stop all human activities – especially those involved with money – it will not merely by a Herculean task but more of Don Quixotic (an impossible dream).  [It has been repeatedly observed that if we leave nature alone – to itself – it has a built-in mechanism to restore equilibrium on its own.]

So, the next best thing is to engage in activities that not only prefers but mandates and compels them to environmentally sustainable.  Environmentally sustainable activity will and must be defined as any activity wherein there will be: (1) minimal raw materials to be extracted or derived from the enviroment; (2) maximum recyclability, re-usability (in Buddhist Economics: full consumption of a good/commodity where it is not discarded while it can find a “new use or purpose”), and biodegradability – i.e., full degradation not exceeding 60 days; (3) unsold or damaged goods/commodities must be either given away to “consumers who could not afford them FOR FREE” or fully taxed against the manufacturer/producer – for the consumption of the raw materials that went into the production of the unsold/damaged good/commodity – or returned into the production process/cycle; and, (4) repeated disregard or intentional violations of the afore-mentioned – especially if it can be proven that deliberate repetitions are mainly due to economically profitable reasons – shall subject the offending manufacturer/producer to punitive actions and to forced closure by government.

Finally, to ensure that any adverse action taken against a business due to products that are not environmentally sustainable – through and through – a panel of INDEPENDENT investigators shall conduct the assessment.  The panel composition shall come from government, from scientific and/or professional organizations and academic institutions (without any tinge of conflict of interest), and independent media (again, those with no issues of conflicts of interest).  The findings should be made public and given time for the other non-panel experts to scrutinize the findings.

TaN: Machines can never replace man.  Most would have the impression and argue that, since machines (i.e., technology) has taken over so many traditionally human labor – mostly via robotics and enhanced with artificial intelligence – man has become dispensable, that machines can do everything.

In a manner, it is true that most of the (menial/tedious or routinary) tasks of man can be (more efficiently) done by machines, the more delicate and vital tasks are beyond the capabilities of machines.  This is because they lack two vital elements that man – I believe – will never be able to endow on machines: imagination and discrimination.

Imagination refers to the ability to create mental or abstract images or concepts that are beyond the physical world – beyond sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.  One obvious case in point for the importance of imagination in problem solving – people “without imagination” cannot solve problems.  People need to be able to explore all “angles” or possibilities and then pick out the best applicable option or possibility.

Discrimination refers to the ability to make differentiattions between subtle but critical characteristics.  For example, confront or presented with a two dimensional image of a deer in the forest, a machine will not be able to “find” the deer.  This is the basis of the application used by many Internet sites requiring the “visitor” to key-in characters they see on an image projected on the screen to ensure that the “visitor” is a real human being and not a mere computer program.

Where does all these lead to?  If all that matters is rules and procedures, machines are perfectly capable of carrying out the work needed and will be more efficient than man, especially when objectivity is required.  However, there will always be instances where the discretion of man is needed, to provide flexibility and practicality.  For instance, when driving home at midnight, one comes to an intersection where the traffic light is still operational and it is displaying the red signal.  The streets are deserted but the traffic rules specifies that a red signal requires the vehicle comes to a full stop.  A machine will “faithfully” stop and wait for the light to change to green.  A man would see the impracticality and proceed.  In this case, even if there is a clear violation of traffic regulations, practicality dictates that the regulation may be ignored.

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