Obama Speaks on Climate Change

On Tuesday Obama spoke on Climate Change; the need for action, his past actions and his plan for the future.

Obama brought us to the moon for the beginning of his speech. He recalled the first images of Earth presented by astronauts. Kudos to his speech writers. This beautiful imagery provides a place to stop and gain some perspective. The delicacy of our home, the feasibility of global climate trends and the beauty of earth were brought to life.

The next part of his speech displayed the frustration that must be felt by those pushing for environmental protection. He dropped terms like “science”, “97 %”, “Billions of dollars”, “floods”, “wildfires”, “droughts” and “Firemen”.

 

 

He then went on to tell us that action is required, outlining first what we has already done:
1. Pledged to reduce 2005 emissions by 17% by the end of this decade.
2. Doubled the electricity we generate from wind and the sun.
3. Doubled car mileage capability by the middle of next decade.
4. Building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades.
5. We are poised more of our own oil than we buy from other nations.
6. Today we produce more natural gas than anybody else.
7. Reduced carbon emissions to that of 20 years ago.
8. Since 2006, no country on earth has reduced it’s carbon emissions as much as the U.S.

His new plan, in his own words will “lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate”. His plan for a climate assault involves less dirty, more clean and less waste.

He went on to share a few interesting facts. The clean air act was signed by a Republican president and voted for essentially unanimously in the House and Senate. In 2006 the Supreme Court deemed it the task of the EPA to determine whether CO2 should be considered a harmful pollutant, and in 2009 the EPA decided that yes, it should, making CO2 subject to regulation.  Obama is directing the EPA to regulate power plants emissions of CO2.

He said that the determination of whether CO2 would exacerbate our climate problems was a huge factor in determining whether the keystone pipeline should be permitted to be built.

Obama then made a case for conserving economic growth despite regulations, pointing to past regulations as evidence.  He seems to believe that innovation and pioneering American spirit is what we need more of.

His new plan will
1. Again, double energy from wind and sun.
2. He will open up public lands for private renewable energy: enough to power 6 million homes by 2020.
3. Department of defense will install three gigawatts of renewable power on its bases.
4. End tax breaks for big oil companies, invest that money in the clean energy companies that will fuel our future.
5. Regulation for car mileage and truck, van and bus mileage.
6. Federal Government: run on 20% renewable energy in the next seven years.

Obama also mentioned preparing for impacts of climate change. He suggests any construction built with tax dollars will be built to withstand flood risk, forest fires and droughts and offers to share NASA data in aid to towns and cities.

He insists that the U.S. should lead the world in combatting climate change by:
1. Mobilizing private capital for clean energy around the world.
2. Aid others in switching toward natural gas.
3. Calling for an end to public financing of coal.
4. Global free trade in renewable, waste reducing technologies.
5. Teaming with China, India, and Brasil, to reduce hydrofluorocarbons and other emissions.

Obama says he is open to any ideas for combatting climate change, but can no longer deal with people who are still denying the threat of climate change.  He said: “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.”

Obama insisted that those listening “stand up for the facts”, speak loudly, invest, divest and work toward protecting future generations.

NASA: Earth from Space

He closed once again from the moon, looking down, and pointing out that we are fighting for “everything we hold dear, the laughter of children a quiet sunset, all the hopes and dreams of posterity, that’s what’s at stake, that’s what we’re fighting for. And if we remember that, [Obama is] absolutely sure we’ll succeed.”

 

 

While I am very happy that Obama stood up and created a plan for tackling climate change. I am left with a couple of questions…

International Leadership: We can hardly claim to be leaders yet. We have enormous emissions per capita as well as a devastating ecological footprint. Leading and opening up trade barriers for trade of technology does not necessarily lead toward the healthy development of other nations.  When a nations ability to protect their environment certainly seems tied to their sovereignty and health of their local economy, this seems almost perverse.  This is certainly not the easiest way to tackle climate change. Public finance and technology sharing would much more rapidly lead to mitigation but this puts more burden on the wealthy countries and less on the poor, and does not provide further open markets for corporations. Of course that line of thought belongs to the left.  This still begs the question. With regulation of CO2 alone can the private market solve climate change? This also demonstrates a total reliance on technology. Technology may be where both sides meet, but alone it may not be sufficient.

Environmental issues: While Obama spoke on climate change, there was no mention of biodiversity, soil, oceanic acidifications, or any of the other environmental crisis that we face. Solving this problem unilaterally by decreasing carbon emissions seems incredibly optimistic. Given that climate regulation and environmental health are certainly related, I am surprised this was not mentioned. I would like to have seen a hint at more systemic solutions. These may naturally follow an economy with less cheap abundant fuel.

Again though, I am happy that Obama finally stepped forward on climate change.  Some contributing factors to the timeliness of this speech may have been recent negotiations with China, the keystone pipeline decision, and the appointment of Gina McCarthy to the EPA.  This appointment may stir some conversation in the coming weeks.

The Fiscal Cliff: A long term solution

American politics has come to systemic paralysis, a lack of creativity, and is constantly stuck between two of the same old answers, which don’t get at the core of the problem.

One solution to raising revenues and balancing the budget… tax the wealthy.  This is based on the correct idea that the top earning 1% in this country are extremely high earners, and more money can do very little to help their welfare.  Meanwhile the country is facing serious economic constraint and could simply use some help.  It is perhaps ignorant to call those top 1% the “productive members of society”.  At the same time, we must understand that in some ways this elite group have played the game which we have constructed and been very successful.  In many cases, they are creating value for society, (one major exception being financial speculation sectors). Their visions and management (along with institutional support) have led toward job creation, innovation, cheaper products, and products which consumers buy.  In the words of ex-world bank Economist Herman Daly, “We have to raise public revenue somehow, and the present system is highly distortionary in that by taxing labor and income in the face of high unemployment in nearly all countries we are discouraging exactly what we want more of. The present signal to firms is to shed labor, and substitute more capital and resource throughput, to the extent feasible.”  In some ways, taxing the wealthy does seem counter-intuitive when attempting to raise revenues, bring jobs home, and remain competitive.

This view leads to the second option which is, lower taxes and allow the free-market to innovate, grow, and therefore create more revenue without raising taxes. A couple of reasons that this is not “just”:  1)  The government needs revenue, and a small percentage increase for the wealthiest tax payers makes an enormous difference in comparison with taxes on the middle class or poor.  2)  The public certainly do support the wealthy.  Infrastructure, a stable economy, laws, consumers, labor, academic excellence, a healthy society, publicly funded research and development, subsidies: These all contribute to the 1% shine.  3) The reason which no one ever mentions: Externalities.

How do we balance these seemingly opposing views?  Tax the takers, not the makers.

The cliff is a glacier?

A long term solution will mean avoiding the edge of the cliff, and ensuring that the foundation of our economy does not crumble.  The balance sheet must come to include natural capital. While countries have historically subsidized throughput from ecosystems in order to stimulate economic growth, Herman Daly argued in 1994 that counting the consumption of natural resources as income is backwards as the definition of income is “the maximum amount that a society can consume this year and still be able to consume the same amount next year.”  While privatizing profits from resource consumption and externalizing costs has been a strategy for raising GNP in the past, we have long since understood the flaws in this approach.  Yet, with the politics of the United States the question remains, tax the wealthy or free the “productive members”.  With an economic paradigm which takes “natural capital” into account, the phrase “producer” may gradually be applied to different sectors of the economy.  To deny that “productive” members of society exist certainly is being over-egalitarian.  To deny that “takers” exist in the 1% is ludicrous as well.  For instance, in 2008 ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) found that the top 500 companies of the world cost global economies 6.8 trillion dollars annually in lost ecosystem services.

Adam Smith understands the needs to tax the wealthy. “It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” Daly agrees with Smith in that the “income tax structure should be maintained”.  At the same time however, as we redefine what contributes to national wealth we may be able to move toward an even more just solution. Daly continues, “Tax labor and income less, and tax resource throughput more.”

Herman Daly’s advice, from 1994 seems increasingly applicable today.  ”It would be better to economize on throughput because of the high external costs of its associated depletion and pollution, and at the same time to use more labor because of the high social benefits associated with reducing unemployment.”

While Obama’s carbon tax was shut down early in his first term, perhaps it could become a part of the current negotiations. For this to become possible, it seems the congress and our nation as a whole could use a crash course in the importance of “natural capital”, so that we might continue to shift toward an economy which serves its purpose and rewards the productive members of society.

Daly’s full speech can be viewed at:

http://www.whirledbank.org/ourwords/daly.html

 

 

Why focus on “America”?

The Americas refers to any grouping of South America, Latin America, Central America, and North America.

However the slang in New American Paradigm refers to the U.S.A.

The U.S.A. has had hegemonic power for many decades now, and as a cultural export, a political power, a leader in the global economy, and powerful force in the ecosystem, the understanding, culture, and frameworks in the United States are of the utmost importance.

In a recent talk at Middlebury College in Vermont, the Dalai Llama said that the world is changing and that the U.S.A. needs to “catch up”.  This generally reflects my personal view.

Aljazeera recently published some wonderful graphics relating to a topic I find important: the Kyoto Protocol.

Aljazeera Infographic

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2012/11/20121118131411899744.html

 

 

Balance, not compromise.

What was missing in the debates?

In politics and economics two themes seem to emerge in almost every conversation.  On the right, Mit Romney has exclaimed “We believe in individual initiative, personal responsibility, opportunity, freedom, small government, the Constitution.”  On the left Bill Clinton and Obama have attempted to make sure the public know, that “We are all in this together.”  From the liberal view, government can and should support initiatives that benefit the collective, believing that what makes our collective nation strong, will benefit everybody.

This tug of war between individualism and collectivism seems to exist in every intellectual pursuit.  These themes were present in designing Democracy and opening trade barriers; from philosophy in education to philosophy in sports.

Mounting evidence is showing in neuroscience, that this ‘tug of war’ exists prominently in the human brain.  According to Iain Mcgilchrist, author, psychologist and Neuroscience expert, the left hemisphere of the brain is being understood as a “force for individuation” and the right, a “force for coherence.”

In ecology, Darwin’s theory, ‘survival of the fittest’ might be compared with E.O. Wilson’s work and the benefits of cooperation, explained in his new book, the “The Social Conquest of Earth.”

Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris explains her study of the evolution of bacteria and the tendency of organisms to break out from “the whole”, like an infant becoming independent from it’s mother, becoming an individual, distinguishing itself, until cooperation is eventually required to evolve, culminating with a re-communion of a new whole. This seems to indicate that at times, individuation is possible and at others, integration is essential.

This brings us to the question, how do we know who is right, in any given moment?

To take again from Neuroscience, Iain Mcgilchrist explains that “Wherever the whole is not the same as the sum of the parts, the force for individuation exists within and subject to the force for coherence.”

Though governments and societies have feared the freedom of individuals, we know in the United States that this freedom of individualization is what allows for innovation, and specialization.  When these elements are combined with cooperation, we see success. This is how the free market functions, and the ecosystem itself functions.  Species who are able to both specialize AND cooperate have a serious advantage. Biodiversity has been shown to in itself, stabilize the climate.

In the United States we developed an incredibly sophisticated balance between the individual and the collective, but it has begun to destabilize.  However, in many minds the most pressing issue is not the integration of citizens with American democracy, or workers with the economy.  It is the integration of U.S. humans, and the U.S. economy with the ecosystem;  A subject entirely forgotten by our culture, but one which effects the economy, our health and our politics. Here is a piece of art from European History with a piece from the Aztecs, who both had advanced civilizations in a similar time period.

Mona Lisa, Lenardo da Vinci, 1503–1519
Xochiquetzal: Goddess of Flowers and Love, Codex Borbonicus, c.1525

The Mona Lisa, like most other european portraits, were at the very least confined to one species. On the other hand, in the Aztecs, we see a culture, whose temples were constructed with the stars and whose Gods and Kings were intimately connected with other creatures.  Portraits, never portrayed individuals alone without other species and elements of the ecosystem.

From the life sciences, the mind sciences and even economics, there seems to be great evidence that we are needing to recontextualize our selves within the greater ecosystem.  Climate change, species extinction, and human health are just three of many reasons that humans are needing to find a way to re-integrate with the greater ecosystems and exist in healthy exchange.  The parts are no longer consistent with the whole. Theories are far from practice, and systems are not sustainable. Alignment will mean that success within the system will mean success for the individual and society. Economists are beginning to see that economic theory is being overshadowed by the theories of physics, and ecology.  Resources are finite, subject to the laws of thermodynamics; inputs are not substitutable and waste is becoming very costly.

Most agree that the narrowness of political debate does not serve us.  According to the sciences, in order to truly re-integrate our vision, we would not be required to ‘serve the collective’ or ‘put ourselves first’.  To achieve a new vision would require transcending the ‘utility’ of the left hemisphere, transcending ‘enlightened self interest’, and even to transcend ‘group selection’. This allows what historian of science Thomas Kuhn would call a “paradigm shift”,  allowing a new vision for what is best for us as individuals, based on a new and improved understanding of how the world works and what is needed.  The goal of systemic changes are to find balance with individuality, integrity and service, without compromising the individual or the whole.

Notes:

People who have made this jump have come up with solutions like creating a steady-state economy, and different measurement indexes. People who want to correct inconsistencies have developed models like multi-tiered capitalism and green growth.  Incorporating a consistent model, Ecological Economics starts from a base level understanding that the economy is a subset of the ecosystem.  In the past Presidents and Senators have questioned the merits of GDP growth and the framework of ‘the ecosystem as part of the economy’. In 2010, 34 OECD nations signed onto a “green growth” platform.  Has anyone heard these concepts presented in the recent debates? I haven’t.

In the words of Milton Friedman, “.. government is essential both as a forum for determining the “rules of the game” and as an umpire to interpret and enforce the rules decided on.”

Naturally, government will require increased concentration of power, when the rules of the game stop adequately serving the citizens.

The 47 Percent Event

At a fundraiser in Florida Mitt Romney was secretly recorded while he discussed politics, Obama, and pitching to swing voters.

To give him the benefit of the doubt, Mitt Romney was making statement that he didn’t actually believe.  It’s as if hes playing for both teams; Romney manages to swing and pitch at the same time.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this video from 94′.

During Romney’s pitch to funders he made the following comments: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.  All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsbility to care for them, who believed that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you-name-it; that that’s an entitlement.  And that the government should give it to them.  And they will vote for this president no matter what… these are people who pay no income tax…”

Here is one of the full clips…

Romney might want to consider the following:

In states Republican vs. Democratic States:

  • Average Republican Credit Score: 658.36
  • Average Democratic Credit Score: 671.39
In Republican vs. Democratic States:
  • Average Republican Salary: $38,855
  • Average Democratic Salary: $44,934
from: http://funancials.biz/democrats-are-richer-than-republicans/
It’s also important to note that of the group that don’t pay income taxes, most pay other taxes, many are elderly, many are students, there are poor and rich, and many are republican as well.
Again, at best we can hope that Romney was just seeking money and speaking what his funders wanted to hear.   At worst, he is ignorant about what truly makes people Republican and Democrat, doesn’t have good intentions with 47% of the country, and is all around radically out of touch with reality outside of the business world.

Watch other videos here:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/secret-video-romney-private-fundraiser

Occupy Wall Street Anniversary

The Occupiers rallied again over this past weekend and into Monday, September 17th for an anniversary March.

Media reports say that numbers were quite lower than the year previous with perhaps 1,000 total occupiers and couple hundred arrests.  Portland, Oregon also held an anniversary march.

Media critics have focused in three areas.

Some believe that this is a movement guided by a jobless youth who are unhappy with the state of the economy.

“We’ve been locked out, people my age don’t have much chance of getting a job, so we have to do something to get people’s attention,” is a quote from one occupier who interviewed for a Reuters article.

This definitely seems to be a fair.  A percentage of the Occupy crowd march because of this issue.   It is possible that this  angst comes from a complex of economic problems, like betting and trading industries based on phantom wealth.  This is a large part of our economy which contributes instability to the economy with very little productive investment.  The income gaps in wealth between the top 1% of the nation and the 99% is enormous, as money continues to have more influence in politics and we are seeing increasing concentrations of power and wealth in corporations.

Economist Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times, “First things first: The protesters’ indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right.”

At the same time, as history goes and as the world goes, the current economy of the United States is not too terribly off.  When we look at the conditions for say, immigrants, or the hundreds of millions who live in slums in Asia, or the farmers caught between the police and guerrilla warfare in the Americas, or Indigenous populations begging for food in changed societies, I’d say the United States has managed to provide well for most sectors of their population.  Here we have a gap between the people who just want a job and people who understand that we are needing some systemic changes.

People say the movement is not holding strong.  Reuters explains, ”The demonstrations attracted roughly 1,000 activists, down sharply from last fall, highlighting the challenge the movement has faced in trying to sustain interest in protesting against what it calls an unfair economic system.”  Umm.. haven’t the media been saying that since day one?  I personally don’t know of the last time a protest had it’s own anniversary.  Then again, perhaps the Tea Party and other organizations have found more funding sources and sustainability in their action.

Lastly, we have all heard that occupy folks don’t know what they want.

I believe that the true Occupiers don’t just want a job, and perhaps don’t just want the reform of one policy.

Gerry Williams a wood worker from manhattan described the new Paradigm he seeks in this poster.

Gerry is an occupier who felt called to the movement after a history of working to protect animals from unnecessary and cruel abuse in laboratory settings.  Gerry says he feels like “animal testing” epitomizes our “current paradigm”, the manner in which our systems and people “objectify life around us.”

Getting at the core of the inadequacy of Capitalism,  Gerry makes another broad sweeping demand with the statement “GIVE ME MY ECOSYSTEMS BACK”.

Corporate control and abuse of our planet is not just a problem of individuals, or policies, or politicians, it a cultural fixation driven by a system which promotes the conversion of ‘resources’ to consumer goods, and especially given the nature of our banking systems, does not promote the protection of public goods, or of the inherent value in other species.

Occupiers like Gerry don’t just march for their own benefit; they march in order to change the way we value the world around us, our U.S. and international citizens, and all other precious life on earth.

 

Notes:

Here were the four subjects of education on the website: OccupyWallStreet.org

  • The Occupy the K-12 Public School Narrative Thematic Breakout - will bring together students, parents, educators, community members and activists to discuss the Privatization of Public Schools and the Continuum of Resistance.
  • Money out of Politics Assembly: Together, we will: describe the parameters of this movement, it’s origin story, involvement with OWS, New York specific efforts, national campaigns and major organizational actors.
  • Strike Debt: Share individual and collective actions for those fighting debt in all of its forms.
  • Occupy for all species: An OTS teach-in to talk about ways we can commit ourselves to the struggle: All Day, Every Day.

ICE MELT

Watch an Arctic Cyclone Melt Ice over the period of a month.

Longer melting and seasons and shorter freezing seasons are causing record low levels in the presence of Arctic Ice.

Canis Lupus Wolf in the Arctic

According to the National snow and Ice Data Center there are 1.32 million square miles, which is about half of what has been normal between 1979 and 2010.  While we see declining numbers the last record low, was 1.61 million square miles in 2007.  That’s almost 20% in five years, as melting speeds.

Some models have put the melting of all ice by 2050, but so far all models are being surpassed. Aggressive estimates say that this may happen by the year 2030 or before.

NBC found a positive in the mix. Melting ice may open up shipping lines.  Thank you NBC!  Maybe Arctic ice melt will provide the boost our economy needs……….   Let’s change the paradigm!!

God, the Conservative, the Liberal and the Snake

One day, a conservative walked through the brush.  It was a warm day, the sun beating down on the fields. After passing over a hill the conservative stopped to take a drink, when out of the grass came a long, venomous snake slithering across the path.  Startled and scared, the conservative reached for his rifle.  ”This world isn’t safe with that snake slithering on my path.”  He loaded his gun, and BANG, shot the snake right between his head and his tail.

Shortly after, God was walking through the Brush and he came upon the snake. Unlike the conservative, God was not scared.  After all God created the snake, and could see himself in the slithering creature.  The snake recognized the creator, and made a plea: “Dear Lord, I’ve been shot, and I will surely die soon… unless you save me.”  God preferred not to use his powers, but showing mercy, God bowed before the snake, and spoke, “You are a magnificent creature.”  With a strong dose of love, the snake was cured.  ”Oh God, you are the giver of all life” said the snake.  The snake then humbly thanked him before clearing off of the path.

From the hilltop, the liberal had watched the whole scene.  Amazed, he began to chase after God.  At the bottom of the hill, God was gone and only the snake remained.  Seeing the snake, the liberal was scared like the conservative, but held firmly to his beliefs in acceptance and cooperation.  The liberal looked at the snake and said, “Snake, I see a liberal in you.”  He then knelt down and declared, “You are a magnificent creature.”

The snake was so grateful, that he decided to say a prayer.   “Dear God, thank you.  First you have saved my life, and now you have provided me with dinner.”

 

What is a “paradigm shift” and why does it happen?

Paradigm from the Greek root paradeigma, generally means a pattern, a model or a framework.  According to Stephen Covey, our paradigms are mental representations of the way things are. “All of us think we see the world as it is.  In fact, we see the world as we are.” This site is designed to explore understandings, which seem to be at the foundation of our culture, the basis for our systems and the guide for our way of life.  What are the assumptions we make about the way that we operate and the way that the world operates?

“All significant breakthroughs were break-withs old ways of thinking.” -Thomas Kuhn

Right now, global ecosystems, economic systems and political systems are in opposition and facing potential collapse.  The United States is becoming fixed in economic inequality, ecosystem consumption, and political polarization, while at the same time being a center for higher-level education, innovation and discovery.  There is now a blossoming of new ideas, new understandings of our condition, and new models for integrating with the ecosystem.  While the rate of advancement is enormous, across fields, our ability to integrate our new found wisdom into our systems will likely determine our sustainability. 

Understanding the individual, society and integration with the ecosystem naturally leads toward creating well designed policy; at the same time understanding global circumstances will inspire individual behavior as consumers, citizens, and social beings.  While some are calling this the “age of context”,  this may represent a process, not only of striving to understand our conditions and then optimally govern, but also finding the current misunderstandings of our conditions, and examining systems which are distorting individual impulse.

“The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of present situations.”

- Harvard Business School Professor and American Economist, David Korten in ‘The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community’

 

Examples:

 

Changing understanding and circumstances are also leading toward a change in the education framework…

For instance, in a recent lecture for the RSA Action and Research Centre, Sir Ken Robinson explained that our education system was built on an intellectual view of the mind born in the enlightenment, essentially that intelligence is based on deductive ability.

Coming to a better understanding of intelligence, learning and behavior, especially through the mind sciences, has changed the paradigm in education.

Today experts like Kenneth Wesson educate on the neuroscience of learning.  In his own words: “If it’s your job to develop the mind, shouldn’t you know how the brain works?”

 

Calling for a paradigm shift in economics…

Introducing the ecosystem:

Source: GDAE, Tufts University

 

“… ecological economics calls for a “paradigm shift” in the sense of philosopher Kuhn, or what we have been calling, following economist Josheph Schumpeter, a change in preanalytic vision.  We need to pause to consider more precisely just what these concepts mean.  Schumpeter observes that “analytic effort is of necessity preceded by a preanalytic cognitive act that supplies the raw material for the analytic effort”. Schumpeter calls this preanalytic cognitive act “Vision.” One might say that vision is the pattern or shape of the reality in question that the right hemisphere of the brain abstracts from experience and then sends to the left hemisphere for analysis.  Whatever is omitted from the pre-analytic vision cannot be recaptured by subsequent analysis.  Correcting the vision requires a new pre-analytic act, not further analysis of the old vision.  Schumpeter notes that changes in vision “may reenter the history of every established science each time somebody teaches us to see things in a light of which the source is not to be found in the facts, methods, and results of the preexisting states of the science. ”

-From ‘Ecological Economics by Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley

 

The constant process of changing the paradigm inside the brain:

“There is, in summary, then, a force for individuation (left hemisphere) and a force for coherence (right hemisphere): but, wherever the whole is not the same as the sum of the parts, the force for individuation exists within and subject to the force for coherence.  In this sense the ‘givens’ of the left hemisphere need to be once again ‘given up’ to be reunified through the operations of the right hemisphere.  This sense that the rationality of the left hemisphere must be resubmitted to, and subject to, the broader contextualizing influence of the right hemisphere, with all its emotional complexity, must surely explain the eminently sane and reasonable philosopher David Hume’s assertion that ‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and so never can pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

-From “The Master and His Emissary”- Iain Mcgilchrist

 

Science is becoming increasingly interested in the subjective, in feelings, and in experience.

From ‘Ishmael’ by Daniel Quinn:

“First definition: story.  A story is a scenario interrelating man, the world, and the gods.”

“Second definition: to enact.  To enact a story is to live so as to make the story a reality.  In other words, to enact a story is to strive to make it come true.”

“Third Definition:  culture.  A culture is a people enacting a story.”

 

Author, economist and Harvard Business School Professor, David Korten explains, “Those who control the stories that define the culture of a society, control its politics and its economy.”