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Writings of J. Todd Ring: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American

The great divide between our beliefs, our ideals, and reality Source: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American   I don’t normally post anything on my blog other than my own original articles and essays… . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think – Scientific American

Eclectic Lip: An end-of-year email re: end-of-year emails

[image credit: Kickstarter, evidently] Sent from the office on my last day of work in 2015. To a much, much younger cohort of coworkers. (And man, that’s depressing!) This is my last day in the office before the New Year (barring any work from home, which I might do to get ahead of the curve) […] . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: An end-of-year email re: end-of-year emails

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lest We Forget: Reflections On Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and the Current Corporate Assault on Freedom and Democracy Around the World

The 21st century was the most violent and murderous period in human history to date. And with our current direction, the 21st century may well surpass it in violence and war. Have we forgotten the lessons of the past, or have we yet to learn them? Worse yet, not only has war not ended, but . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lest We Forget: Reflections On Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and the Current Corporate Assault on Freedom and Democracy Around the World

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

A musical commentary, followed by social and political analysis, followed by hilarious spoof rap videos, and more This is scathingly funny. Will Ferrell does a mock music video of macho gangster rap. Man, how I despise that music. As Rage Against the Machine said, “So-called rap’s a fraud.” Worse, most of it is disgustingly offensive, . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

Writings of J. Todd Ring: A few thoughts on empathy in human beings, and other living creatures

Empathy is natural in human beings, as Jeremy Rifkin has pointed out – and with strong backing by recent scientific findings. Some human beings have more and some less; and some are sociopaths – roughly 1% (and usually, the ones who gravitate to positions of wealth and power, unsurprisingly) – who have a near total . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: A few thoughts on empathy in human beings, and other living creatures

Eclectic Lip: How Trinity Western University (unintentionally) promotes divorce

Trinity Western University has been in the news recently, as law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia voted to not recognize lawyers trained at the religious university’s soon-to-open law school. These two law societies – like your blogger and the vast majority of Canadians – recoiled in horror at the university’s community covenant (“covenant” . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: How Trinity Western University (unintentionally) promotes divorce

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Reflections on Chartres Cathedral, the death of civilization and the deification of the banal

Thinking of Chartres Cathedral, I ask myself, what, if anything, have we built in the past eight centuries, that compares to this? The iPad, computers, cell phones, the internet? Are you kidding me? You must be joking. We have more ways to amuse ourselves, yes, but when has our capacity for entertainment, amusement and . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Reflections on Chartres Cathedral, the death of civilization and the deification of the banal

Eclectic Lip: The losers of Superbowl XLVIII will be…

Religious moderates.

Here’s my reasoning.

After the game, someone on the winning team, exulting ecstatically, will say “God was on our side” or words to that effect. It’s as sure as a post-touchdown two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter, if the team is still down by a pair.

This will lead humorists . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: The losers of Superbowl XLVIII will be…

Political Eh-conomy: Economic history in the present: Potlatch and tax

This post inaugurates an occasional series I’m calling, “Economic history in the present”. This series will look at vignettes from global economic history with an eye to current phenomena or particular events. Some will be more speculative, drawing on anthropology and philosophy; some will be more rigorous. Hopefully, both aspects of this approach will produce . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Economic history in the present: Potlatch and tax

Eclectic Lip: Putting the “X” back in Xmas

Xtians began using “Xmas” 500 years ago, since in Greek, X is the “Ch” in Christ

Around the holidays, some people (not to name names or anything) urge modern society to put the “Christ” back in Christmas. There’s much to criticize about the hollow vacuousness of consumer culture, after all. Most of us can . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Putting the “X” back in Xmas

Writings of J. Todd Ring: New studies show babies have basically decent impulses and are strongly driven by moral imperatives

More research shows once again that compassion, empathy and mutual aid, and an instinct toward cooperation, are innate in human beings, confirming what the great Russian biologist and anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin had already amply demonstrated over a hundred years ago, in his monumental work, Mutual Aid. My but our cherished ideological self-deceptions die slowly. . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: New studies show babies have basically decent impulses and are strongly driven by moral imperatives

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The new epidemic: Death cults and the culture of despair

An article in The Atlantic speaks to the growing death-fetish that is gripping more and more youth. It is a bad omen for the state of modern industrial civilization as a whole, I would contend, and it indicates a broader trend toward anxiety, hopeless and despair, which must be confronted and overcome – if, that . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: The new epidemic: Death cults and the culture of despair

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Mexico City: A study in impermanence, and a lesson to us all

pablo lopez luz photographs the concrete waves (or carpet, as he puts it) of Mexico City The unbelievably sprawling concrete carpet of Mexico City seen in these photos make me think… Gorgeous country, beautiful culture and people, horrible government, amazing capital city – but utterly unsustainable, as most cities are. Watch for the ruins […]

. . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Mexico City: A study in impermanence, and a lesson to us all

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Are we alone? More importantly, are we even awake?

The “man the life boats and head for the stars” answer to our present human dilemmas is simply delusional. We can and should explore space, but if we don’t get our act together here on this planet immediately, we’re dead – extinct: plain and simple. A recent book seems once again to miss that point . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Are we alone? More importantly, are we even awake?

Writings of J. Todd Ring: New studies show generosity and cooperation are both natural and intelligent

A new study shows a mathematical proof that generosity leads to evolutionary success. Biologists offer a mathematically based explanation for why cooperation and generosity have evolved in nature [Credit: Web] “Ever since Darwin,” Plotkin said, “biologists have been puzzled about why there is so much apparent cooperation, and even flat-out generosity and altruism, in nature.” . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: New studies show generosity and cooperation are both natural and intelligent

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Reflections on tumblr, facebook and social media

Going from specifics to depth and breadth, and from particularities to universals, here are some thoughts for your consideration, for anyone who may be interested. I’ve come to love the social networking / blogging community / window onto the web which is called tumblr. That being said, tumblr is largely what you make of it. . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Reflections on tumblr, facebook and social media

Eclectic Lip: The witless wisdom of Shai Agassi

Dunning-Kruger effect graphed by AddAttack on DeviantArt.

LinkedIn has an “opinion leader” piece from Shai Agassi, founder of bankrupt car-battery-switcher Better Place, telling carmakers how they need to respond to Tesla’s success. Who better to give them advice than a guy who raised $850 million for an ignorant, impractical, impossible business model, then drove . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: The witless wisdom of Shai Agassi

Eclectic Lip: Wynne-win for Canada! And, is America ready for another white male President?

I welcomed Kathleen Wynne‘s victory in the leadership race for the ruling Ontario Liberal Party this past Saturday, even though I live in faraway British Columbia. And I do mean far away — seriously, the International Space Station is ten times closer to the surface of the earth, than Vancouver is to Toronto. (Though that . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Wynne-win for Canada! And, is America ready for another white male President?

Eclectic Lip: Douglas, Deng and Diocletian

(originally written May 21, 2012. Part of Great Upload of 2013.)

Tommy Douglas

I read a bio of Tommy Douglas recently, figuring as a guy with sinister leanings (sinister in the original Latin sense of “left”, that is 🙂 ) I might as well brush up on the father of Canadian Medicare, and reigning Greatest . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Douglas, Deng and Diocletian

Eclectic Lip: The Black Swan’s Thanksgiving Turkey

(originally written Nov 24, 2011. Part of Great Upload of 2013.)

It came to my attention that Naseem Nicholas Taleb, who authored The Black Swan (surprisingly, not about a ballet dancer, but about financial crises) discussed other avians in his book, among them the Thanksgiving turkey. Per the Wikipedia page, he seems to’ve co-opted the . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: The Black Swan’s Thanksgiving Turkey

Eclectic Lip: Sniffs from a Schiff…

(Originally written March 7, 2012. Part of Great Upload of 2013.)

A colleague once showed me a book by Peter Schiff, in which the author and investment-house CEO purported to explain how the US got into the muddle they’re in.

Like so many textbooks I left it unread, but according to Wikipedia, Schiff believes a . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Sniffs from a Schiff…

Eclectic Lip: Whatever foresight is, it’s not 20/20…

(originally written Jan 3, 2012. Part of my Great Upload of 2013.)

Come December’s end, the nervy among us like to review what they got right in the past year. The nervier like to predict what’ll happen in the New Year. Ever the blithe contrarian, I figured I’d visit the Ghost of Predictions Past and . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Whatever foresight is, it’s not 20/20…

Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid

The doctor diagnosed young son Leo recently with the stomach flu — which is colloquial shorthand for a condition which isn’t the flu, per se. (The most recent editor of the relevant article on the almighty Wiki agrees!)

The Kaopectate Kid

Our medical professional then suggested we give Leo some Kaopectate to soothe his stomach. . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Mayans, the ecological crisis and the end of the world: a little sanity please

It seems like a lot of people are going to extremes with regards to the Mayan predictions – and I mean the skeptics as well as the fanatics. Some are dismissive of the Mayans altogether, while others are taking a very literal and grossly overly simplistic view, and thinking the world will end on a . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Mayans, the ecological crisis and the end of the world: a little sanity please

Eclectic Lip: Lana Wachowski, Joe Simpson and our evolving social mores

The recent release of Cloud Atlas, piqued my interest in writing some thoughts about sexual identity. As has been fairly well publicized leading to the movie’s opening, Lana Wachowski (born Larry) underwent a gender transition (“sex change”) a few years ago; and from all accounts, seems the happier for it.

The even-more-recent allegations that Joe . . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Lana Wachowski, Joe Simpson and our evolving social mores