Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Season of Appreciation

No amount of money will be adequate if one doesn't have the skill to manage it well -- not only in saving it, but more importantly, in spending it -- because that is when money can be exchanged for value even greater than money. That is the actualization of money at its exchange function -- which makes the biggest difference in individual lives.

For unfortunately many, their thinking is to get as much as possible, while giving as little as possible -- which is not a fair trade, but to exploit an inefficiency in the market -- until that becomes corrected, and those values no longer are available at such an undervalued price. But before that happens, the few who can appreciate values rightly, are the major beneficiaries of those inefficiencies at which the best are practically given away, because most people don't want them if everybody else doesn't see the value of them first, and are heavily promoted and advertised.

In this way, people who can think for themselves, and not simply chase the crowd, will experience the riches and richness of the world -- that the status quo vested interests, tell those under their sway, are not possible. That's how the world has always changed -- and not simply by giving the powers that be who always wish to remain so, "more."

When there are great disruptions in economies and societies, it is not because the world is getting worse, but is undoubtedly changing for the worse -- for a few, even as it is getting better for infinitely more. That's the situation we see in the world today, when many Americans complain that things were never so bad, because most of the world is gaining on them -- experiencing the life that only Americans used to.

Many are upset, that the great disproportions and inequities of fortune, are no longer just the privileges of Americans, but now have become the birthright of citizens all around the world. There is a certainly mentality, that derives its sense of well-being, from the knowledge that everybody else is worse off than they are -- and that is the only measure of pleasure they derive, and not the possibility that life can be good anywhere, for anybody, and ultimately, everybody. But that is not a possibility they can appreciate.

That is the conditioning (education) they've had -- to believe that in order for themselves to win, everybody else has to lose -- which is the destructive force in the world. Nature doesn't want everybody to lose so that she alone can win -- but wants as many to win as possible, which is first, realizing that possibility -- of fitness not being a competition for the survival of the fittest, but assuring it for as many as possible under all conditions and circumstances -- to enhance one's own, for the world is, one's experience of it.

It doesn't have to be a daily struggle -- but a realization of how things can be made better, beginning with one's own baseline functioning in it. Thus it is important to be firing on all cylinders, every waking moment of one's life -- beginning with the very moment of awakening as the single greatest moment for achieving that actualization.

That of course, is the moment one awakens from sleep -- and makes the transition to conscious activity, beginning at the most fundamental level -- of conscious breathing that radically changes (improves) one's operating conditions. This is a huge problem for many people as they sleepwalk their way through their day and lives -- knowing no other way of being, yet suspecting they could be functioning much better in the moment -- and not just in regrets for all the moments bungled and lost -- because one wasn't fully there, acting one's best, being one's best -- but recalling in horror, that they must have been somebody else, doing things they never would have done in their right mind and capacities.

But rather than thinking they need infinitely more capacity, the secret is the realization to do better with the capabilities they have already been gifted with -- which is to appreciate (make greater) that which one already has.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

As Easy as Breathing

Previously I've warned of the dangers and undesirability of stressing the heart by making it work harder and faster -- as though that was ever (always) a wise thing to do, much less doing it for its own sake.

The heart is far and away the hardest working muscle (organ) of the body -- and contracts a mind-boggling 100,000+ times a day -- just to maintain life at its most rudimentary level, and one of the noted dangers of exercise, has been an enlarging of the heart and thickening of the heart by repeated demands to accommodate high stress levels and demands -- usually leading to a premature shortening of life and/or disability caused at the weak point of the individual's systems. People are unique in that way of being prone to individual vulnerabilities -- much like Achilles' heel (tendon), many people's backs, knees, aneurysms, dementias and depressions. And so we all don't die in the same way, have the same (chronic) conditions to have to deal with all our lives, or have the same strengths as well as weaknesses.

But for all the living, the heart is an autonomic function -- which we are born with as our essential metabolic function and rate -- unique to each individual. The next step beyond though, is something much more variable, although autonomic to a great extent also yet it can be modified greatly -- and is the basis for many time-honored health regimens (practices) that have stood the test of time, and that is the breathing movement, or function. We can hold our breath -- but if we hold it too long, we pass out and it reverts to being an autonomic function as it must.

This then is the essential movement we have control over to modify -- safely and healthfully. So when we can understand that function well, we would intelligently make that the primary objective as the most valuable "activity" (practice) a person would consciously and deliberately engage in -- decidedly in preference over walking (especially in the cold/hot, rain and dark), running (with its high impact), pushups, situps, and all the other movements and activities "contrived" to make one healthier, and thus, more highly functioning as the base level for anything they might do in the course of their lives -- which makes them more fit and prone to survive, and even thrive at the highest levels, individually and/or in community.

This they naturally do because that is the consciousness and awareness of the brain functioning on the higher level in which it connects with other brains as though it is one -- rather than struggling against every other, which is obviously the brain functioning at a very low level and consciousness -- thinking even, that they have to completely reinvent the wheel, every time they want to do something, and so are easily discouraged and dissuaded not to.

In the early 50s and 60s, the most popularly performed bodybuilding movement, was not the bench press or squat, but an exercise done prior to such strenuous movements if they were done at all, that was called the Lying straight arm pullover to articulate the greatest difference between the girth of the chest and the girth of the waist moving the arms backward, and then bringing the arms and head forward to a contraction (compression) along with concurrent movement at the hands and feet to effect all the muscles as though it were just one, which is essentially breathing with the entire movement of the body.

The original Nautilus machine was also designed around this one basic and valued movement -- which was the one exercise the inventor originally thought was essential to do -- before creating machines for each bodypart at the height of the movement towards specialization in everything. That was also the time in which IBM mainframe computers, did all the data processing for every other field of activity, because that was their specialized function -- so one could not know the results of anything, until one got the results back on the IBM printouts.

There was every reason to believe that increasing specialization and fragmentation of comprehension would continue -- with everyone just knowing a tiny slice of their own world, apart from all the others. It was not thought necessary or even possible, that one should have a comprehensive understanding of the world as a whole, because in that grand scheme of things, every individual was just a mindless cog doing what they were told (expected) to do, in the assembly line society envisioned prior to "1984."

Then the world changed -- beginning ten years earlier, with the great market crash of 1974 -- signaling a great change was in the making, a movement away from uniform lives in a uniform society. The ten years from 1974-1984, culminating and symbolized by the ending of society as a machine dominated by centralized planning and determination by a few self-designated experts (technocrats), began its reversal to the present-day decentralization of all authority -- as exhibited by the present day chaotic, distinctly disorganized (random) movements.

But it is not just enough to be against the old; one has to have a better idea of how individuals and societies work -- and simply "more of the same," will not be the answer to the challenge of the times anymore. Something fundamentally and profoundly has changed -- to a higher realization of making the most out of what one already has. That is the key to why some can make it on $10,000 a year, while some cannot make do on $100,000 a year. It's no longer about the money -- but what greater values one can exchange it for. Many of those exchanges, will result in no value received, no matter how much money is given for it. It is foremost, an exchange of information -- in determining credible, verifiable, authentic and useful information, from that which is promoted merely to maximize the gain from those transactions -- while providing little or nothing in return.

That's how much the world has changed -- and what we must do now, to optimize our lives in going with that flow.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

If Everyone Tries to Get Something for Nothing

It should be obvious by now, that if the dominant theme in society is to get as much as possible for giving as little as possible in exchange, that eventually, everyone will get nothing of value for all their money (transactions). That's how markets and societies work -- or don't work.

So the premise of any society, is to maximize the values one gets in these exchanges, so that one usually gets much more than they bargained for -- rather than nothing for all their money. So while money plays a part in these exchanges, the underlying values of that community (society), is people individually and collectively contributing to the abundance -- rather than just draining it, until nothing is left. That is their working capital -- the raw material upon which more can be made, so that society doesn't have to reinvent the wheel anew each time there is a need to do something, accomplish something -- so that that society can move forward from there, and not always start from zero.

Those are sustainable societies, with momentum into the future -- and not simply repeating and reliving the past, as the best of times -- that will never be equaled again. Obviously such latter societies, are on their way to extinction -- but they'll never know what hit them, what happened to them. All they know is that everybody got nothing.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Evolution of the Information Superhighway

When the World Wide Web was just getting underway (1995), the convention was that nobody ever posted under their real name, which I realized was a huge mistake because it would allow misinformation, deception, manipulation and malice to proliferate faster than legitimate and authentic information -- undermining the credibility of this brave new world, which I could recognize then would be the only publication that mattered in the future.

So when my instructor said that no serious writer would ever write on the WWW primarily or even exclusively, I titled my instructional homepage, "The World's Writer," and told my instructor who insisted I had to be anonymous like the convention, that people would just assume that I'm not who I claimed to be -- since everybody else was an alias.

Then I warned forums that I participated on that most of the abuses were caused by anonymity, and the real power of the WWW, is that it allowed anyone to become famous (well-known) as the person they really are -- rather than remaining anonymous (nobodies) they were conditioned to think they were -- all their lives by the institutions and media.

The power of the press lay in their ability to "make" or "break" anybody -- because they presumably spoke for everybody, whether they in fact did or not. But they presumed so, and were the "only game in town." But many were just not used to having the spotlight on themselves -- and having to make themselves, rather than allowing the status quo institutions determine that. That was the world in which the New York Times, or Harvard University, etc., told everybody else what to think -- as though they really knew, and were the hierarchy anointed to maintain the "political correctness" on what to think.

But now with the WWW, many people outside of those hierarchies, are the foremost experts who actually created that field of knowledge and industry -- like Steve Jobs et al, and there is no higher authority, to ask than oneself, to know oneself.