TaN: It is sad that (today) we value superficial academics more than the true substance and worth of it – the message behind the messenger. It is a good thing that our Lord Jesus Christ is no longer with us because He would never be able to satisfy the obsession of modern society to have as many credentials as possible to earn any respect or acceptance. There is so much emphasis today on the superficial and the trivial that we have (almost) completely forgotten or forsaken the essentials. It is a case of giving more importance to the messenger rather than the message. We have forgotten the wisdom of St Thomas Aquinas who was to have said: The truth, even if it comes from a liar, Is Still THE TRUTH!
Our preoccupation with looking at the degrees of a person instead of the (truthfulness of the) words leaves us open to deception and trickery. It also diverts our efforts to and focuses on trivial matters – from the pursuit of truth and true development of man’s persona (i.e., the real purpose of our existence) to useless titles and superficial symbols of achievements. We have been “conditioned” (or indoctrinated, if you will) to regard titles and degrees as the high watermark of a person’s abilities and expertise…to accept them at face value as if they are immune to fraud and deception.
In truth, in a recent article posted on the NaturalNews web site (please refer to http://www.naturalnews.com/z042450_scientific_plagiarism_PhD_dissertations_Poland.html), it was reported that Poland has started to “defrock” the PhDs of several conferees due to plagiarism and other issues of fraud and another earlier articles (please refer to http://www.naturalnews.com/financial_ties.html, this web page is a compilation of numerous articles on the issue) where it reported that there are revelations of many clinical and pharmaceutical trials and studies conducted by physicians and scientists who had financial interests and ties with the pharmaceutical industry but made no disclosures.
So, what do these say about the integrity of titles and degrees – although I do admit that these are few compared to the countless of others that are honest and above-board. But then again, it may be that these are, so far, the only the ones that have been discovered.
Moreover, with the Internet, knowledge is no longer the private domain of schools and institutions of learning – especially the so-called institutions of formal education and not home schooling. Today, it is not anymore a guarantee that just because one has graduated from a formal education institution and earned a degree that one is an expert (in something).
In truth, there are numerous instances where “products” of the so-called institutions of learning have been trained and mis-indoctrinated rather than educated and taught. They have been “convinced” to defend and preserve the status quo with everything they have – the very same system that is the reason for their current state, where 99% of the people are in. There is no room for “non-conformists”, for those who dare to break new ground, to go beyond the comfort zone where the uber rich and power elite set up boundaries to keep all within their domain under control and subservient.
The traditional role or function of academic – which is to search for and discover truth and knowledge – has now been hijacked and redefined to mean to espouse whatever truths and information that the powers-that-be want or permit. That or those which they do not want revealed, known, or discovered must remain hidden.
As in an earlier blog quoting from Sir Ken Robinson in a video from Ted.com (titled: Schools Kill Creativity), this “process of academic inflation” – where a Masters degree is now required when a Bachelors used to be enough and a PhD when a Masters degree sufficed – is like any of the other schemes of the global power elite…a variant of the pyramid scam. Because Bachelors degrees today are “a dime a dozen”, they are now requiring Masters degrees to narrow the playing field and PhDs will be required where Masters used to be adequate to make the playing field even more narrow.
What happens now when people with Masters degrees become ubiquitous? Will there be another “shift upwards” so that Masters are no longer adequate and a PhD is mandated? What abut the PhDs? What is the next step up…multiple PhDs? And then what?
Moreover, there have been numerous instances where titles and degrees have fraudulently been “obtained”, where is the assurance that they have been earned honestly? Why do we keep emphasizing and giving more importance to the messenger rather than the message? Why are titles and degrees more important than the truthfulness of what a person says – regardless of whether the person has any formal education or not.
Finally, I reiterate what I blogged earlier about what St Thomas Aquinas said regarding truth: The truth, even if it comes from a liar, is still the truth.
TaN: Shifting from plastic (back) to paper again only delays the inevitable; what is truly needed is a change in consumer habits and in disposal habits. While it is true that paper is both biodegradable and renewable, replacing paper with plastic without changing our consumption and disposal habits only mitigates the perennial problem of flooding and environmental pollution.
Because we are continuously and consistently “urged” by both Big Business and by government – because of the so-called “need for economic growth” – to spend and buy the products of Big Business, we unwittingly become party to the ecological and systemic environmental damage of the planet and accelerate global warming (unless we properly replace the trees that we cut to make the paper we substitute for the plastic) as well as contribute to the increasing inequality or wealth gap between the 99% and the uber rich 1%.
Whenever you discard waste just anywhere – especially on the street – they get swept into drainages and clog up the system. Even if it is paper. Paper will still clog up the system. The only difference from plastic is that paper will degrade faster but they will still clog the drainages and there will still be flooding.
The real solution is not to replace plastic with paper but to change our disposal habits.
Do not tear apart the wrapper or packaging. Unwrap carefully so the wrapper can be re-used or recycled or they can be resold or donated to recycling facilities.
Do not discard the wrapper/packaging after a single use – unless it is in such a state that they can only serve as stuffing or as wiping/cleaning material.
Do not discard the wrapper/packaging just anywhere. Set up and/or use recycle bins – where available and applicable. Just because there is someone to pick up after you does not justify your throwing things anywhere and in any manner you please or is convenient. Remember (as a good friend once said): when you lump everything together, it is garbage or trash, but if you segregate or classify them accordingly, they are resources.
Do not let – much less insist that – the vendor provide you a wrapper or plastic/paper bag if you or your item can do without it. Unless it is not your intention to go buying something, always bring along a bag to carry things you buy.
It is only when we change our buying and disposal habits will we truly be environment-friendly.