An Independent Diplomat

September 17, 2010 § 1 Comment

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I don’t generally post about politics.  When I really think about it this post isn’t about politics either. It is about “The Big Picture” and all of us being connected.

Carne Ross is the founder of Independent Diplomat, a nonprofit that offers freelance diplomatic representation to small, developing and yet-unrecognized nations in the complex world of international negotiations. His TED Talk from October 2009 reminds all of us not only how interconnected we are, but falling off a cliff can be a good thing.

We are living in a more complicated and fragmented world. If governments are less able to affect the problems that affect us in the world, then that means, who is left to deal with them, who has to take greater responsibility to deal with them? Us. If they can’t do it, who’s left to deal with it? We have no choice but to embrace that reality. What this means is it’s no longer good enough to say that international relations, or global affairs, or chaos in Somalia, or what’s going on in Burma is none of your business, and that you can leave it to governments to get on with. I can connect any one of you by six degrees of separation to the Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia. Ask me how later, but if you eat fish, interestingly enough, but that connection is there. We are all intimately connected.

Check these out also:

Independent Diplomat: The Diplomatic Advisory Group

Carne Ross Blog at Huffington Post

?Whatif! The Innovation Company

Carne Ross The Independent Diplomat by Christine Flanagan

Capturing the world’s oldest living things

August 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lately it has been harder to find the beauty in the world. Then I remembered, I choose what I look at. So here is something beautiful I saw and wanted to share.

Rachel Sussman is a time traveler. For the last few years, the American photographer has journeyed across the globe on a mission to bring back images of the world’s oldest living organisms.In her ongoing project, Sussman has traveled to the primal landscapes of southern Greenland, the timeless high-altitude Andean deserts of South America and even under the ocean.” Read the full story

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Update 9 September 2010:

“Rachel Sussman shows photographs of the world’s oldest continuously living organisms — from 2,000-year-old brain coral off Tobago’s coast to an “underground forest” in South Africa that has lived since before the dawn of agriculture.” -TED

Visit Rachel Sussman: photography to view her groundbreaking work on photographing the worlds oldest living organisms.

The Importance of Unbelief | Stephen Fry

July 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

Skeptic Top Trumps Cards by Caricature Club

Stephen Fry, for those who don’t know him, is a brilliant actor, writer, quiz show host and all around great guy. I stumbled upon this interview on  bigthink.com from December 2009. I missed it so I am sure others did as well. Despite his fascination with European football, my husband and I are huge fans.

“You can’t just say there is a God because well, the world Is beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children. You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild live under stress with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths. There is not any way that you can just choose the nice bits and say that means there is a God and ignore the true fact of what nature is. The wonder of nature must be taken in its totality and it is a wonderful thing. It is absolutely marvelous and the idea that an atheist or a humanist if you want to put it that way, doesn’t marvel and wonder at reality, at the way things are, is nonsensical. The point is we wonder all the way. We don’t just stop and say that which I cannot understand I will call God, which is what mankind has done historically. That’s to say God was absolutely everything a thousand or two thousand years ago because we understood almost nothing about the natural world, so it could all be God and then as we understood more God receded and receded and receded, so suddenly now he is barely anywhere. He is just in those things we don’t understand, which are important, but I think it just is such an insult to humanity and the Greeks got it right. The Greeks understood perfectly that if there were divine beings they are capricious, unkind, malicious mostly, temperamental, envious and mostly deeply unpleasant because that you can say well yes, all right, if there is going to be god or gods then you have to admit that they’re very at the very least capricious. They’re certainly not consistent. They’re certainly not all loving. I mean really it’s just not good enough.” Read or see Video of the full interview.

via The Importance of Unbelief | Stephen Fry | Big Think.

Can Science Explain Everything?

July 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

This was ‘The question‘ posed by Andrew Brown, of the Guardian. Every week the Guardian poses a question and their panel of experts speak their minds.  Susan Blackmore’s response was insightful and inspiring.

Click HereThe question: Can science explain everything?

Science explains, not describes

The experience of consciousness seems incommunicable and ineffable. Yet science can hope to explain how it arises

When Andrew Brown first posed this week’s question to me he asked “Can science describe everything?”. My instant, unreflective reply was “No”. He implied that this might be a less restrictive question than “Can science explain everything” and yet my instant reaction to this one was “Yes”. I’d like to explore this curious difference….”  Please click here to read the rest of her post.

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