New Year, First Sun

Nouvelle Page

Oh boy…I am SO behind in my writing!! Hopefully this new year will bring fresh energy, focus AND discipline to my endeavor…  in the meantime here is a sample the latest episode in my photography journey.

Photo Set

This first set was taken on the very dawn of 2013 in the enchanted forest of Broceliande, in Bretagne, France

I will post a couple more in the coming days.

Paris Perfect

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A thousand times, and a thousand more, haven’t I seen the eiffel tower in the paris sky?
A thousand times, and a thousand more, haven’t I been right there, shooting but a glance, driving by?
Unexpectedly, this originally unremarkable night, took a stab at perfection…

From Trocadero’s deck, the tower took me by surprise, massive, impressive, elegant if not beautiful,
it had that Wow, that long time mates tends to loose.
Below Trocdero, was served tango…
I stared, marvelled, and later, took a chance and danced,
once with that shy parisian lady,
and twice again with a ballerina from Turkey,
all perfect strangers, dancing strangely perfectly

As I went back to the deck, still slightly buzzed from the beauty of nothing in particular, Continue reading

Basic Universal Principles – Iguanas “r” Us (or Them?)

For those not familiar with iguanas, they look rather unbecoming… and one day I had to “usher” a particularly large and ugly one out of the house. It looked ferocious and seemed like it came out specifically to get me. The solution I chose consisted in strategically placing pieces of cardboard and other objects to make a path out of the house. Then I put the animal under pressure and it fled. Done deal. “Easy”.

Being older now, it’s even clearer how much of that “fight” was only in my head. But as a general rule how do you deal with things/people you don’t know/trust and especially who’s intention you have to guess from their outward appearance (or from a report on tv). Is this entity rational, moral, dangerous, God fearing? What are its true intentions?

Continue reading

Basic Universal Principles – Core Axioms

Being a work in progress, this list and organization of this list is bound to be updated as I write the articles supporting it. It is also bound to refer directly or indirectly to existing and well documented body of studies or school of thoughts. Hence, I do not claim them to be original per se (incidentally, not unlike what is described below ) .

Note that what follows immediately below, is necessarily more opaque than some would want (including me).  Fortunately, it will quickly be followed by articles that I expect the reader will find light hearted and easy to follow (in comparison).

Axioms

  1. All things are existential and functional variations of everything else.  This is NOT a statement of connectedness. Rather it is a statement of similarity.
  2. All things exist as a change in state relative to something else.
  3. The degree and nature of change is a direct reflection of the influence of opposing forces.
  4. Changes are aimed at conserving/establishing/re-establishing some degree of equilibrium.

Corollary  Principles

  1. Since all things are and work in a similar fashion, isolating similarities is extremely useful and powerful.  Solutions in one area maybe portable to another area and understanding of one phenomenon help understand another whether such phenomena seem related or not.

Propositions:

On the true nature of things (See Iguanas are Us)

  1. All beings/systems act completely logically and predictably with respect to properly understood circumstances.
  2. Circumstances can be divided in 2 broad categories: a) internal/internalized constraints (i.e. true nature) b) external stress
  3. The relative strength/weight/importance of individual constraints characteristics will vary in function of stress (see Axioms 2, 3)
  4. The higher priority constraints (what is commonly referred to as true/essential nature) at any given time are put in evidence when the system is under higher stress situations.
  5. Desired outcome/behaviors can be induced by playing to those constraints under the right stress situation

On the true nature of our activities

  1. Societies, cultures, companies and individual act in similar ways (see axioms 1)
  2. All of what we do consists in either investing or protecting an investment
  3. Models used to manage financial investment strategies are suitable for understanding / predicting human behavior (see Corollary 1)

(To be Continued…. )


Note: This is article is part of the series “Basic Universal Principles” for more information click here.

Basic Universal Princples – Intro

Gang violence, Immigration, The role of the government in the economy, Education,  Moral decline, Couple relationships,  Privacy issues, Substance abuse, Population growth control and Unemployment  are all topics that are generally not part of the same discussion. Yet, I contented, they are all related.  Their solutions, or at least tools enabling more fruitful national and transnational discussion are also related.

In this series i try to explore and summarize in  a few sentences (Basic Principles) what I think best describes everything is in the world or how everything works in the world.

I know, tall order. But hopefully the outcome will be useful enough to help model complex situation effectively and simple enough to be conveyed to a large audience.

As a result topics which might seem intractable and  viscerally doomed can be put in a context that can show both: what’s happening and what can possibly be a way out.

Big “Caveat”: In no way, this should be construed as a search for “THE TRUTH”. This is only an attempt to find “THE TOOLS” to handle what surrounds us.

NEXT UP: Core Axioms

I had to post this article because first it was interesting, but most of all because of the discussion I had with the Author.  I thought the convo was a prime example of how pre-conceived notions can prevent the most basic of discussions. To me it is a sad commentary on our ability to talk to people we suspect might not agree with us.

That said, I learned a lot… but not what I hoped for.

On the other hand I think will have to investigate a bit of what’s going on in the Climate Change debate.

Challenge to Personal Virtues: What is Evil?

Here is my challenge: Is there any situation where the following definition does not apply?

1) Evil is to indulge in excess into what comes to us the easiest (or just easily)
2) The effort required to overcome Evil IS Good

Note that I am not attempting to define Good or Goodness. Also I am not trying to define Evil in the context of society. Just on a personal level when the main concern is nobody else but oneself and one’s own values.

For example: cheating on a spouse is a valid situation as long as the merits of the decision are solely based on the motives, drives, “morality” and decisions of the individual. As a result a valid question would be “Am I violating my own vows”. An invalid question would be “Will my spouse be hurt”.

The reason for the distinction is that involves principles of relativity and makes definitions more complex.

I have previously made some comments such as “Satan is Us”.  Which a rough equivalent to: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing“.  For a while that was satisfying.

In talking to more religiously minded people I realized that the belief in some overarching plan either from God or Satan is so strong that my original statement does not make a difference in positioning the personal **practical** implication on Evil.

Originally my contention was that no matter your belief in the existence of such overarching plans/forces or not, it would not change what you are to do in order to live a reasonably non Evil life.  But given the skepticism I faced, I thought I should dig a bit deeper and at least come up with a clearer definition of what I thought evil was on a *Personal* level.  So… there you have it.

Any takers?