If your total wealth is over 1 million dollars you are in the top 0.5% of the global wealth pyramid.
If you have between 100k and 1m, you are in the top 7.5%.
If you have somewhere between 10k and 100k, you are still in the top third of the global pyramid.
If you own over 50 million dollars worth of assets, you are one of only 81,000 people on this planet.
If over 10 million you are still one of the richest 1 million people out of 7 billion people.
Not to say I know many people with Read more [...]
The word "Fundamentalism" might make you think of people with unwavering beliefs who refuse to consider alternative views. You could be thinking of people committed to a political ideology on the far left or far right, or maybe a form of religious fundamentalism.
The word is often used interchangeably with "Extremism", which may make you think of suicide bombers, hate crimes against gays, sexual discrimination against women—anyone who use a "Holy Scripture" to justify violence. Yet you might Read more [...]
Rather than debating "Is there are God?" shouldn't it first be clarified "what exactly one is referring to by this word "God"? Can Panentheism provide a new slant on the God debate between New Atheists and Fundamentalist Christians?
I am having a mini thesis crisis - overwhelmed by wanting to say too much on too many things, referring to too many theorists, so I thought I'd share part of it with you and see if that helps. Some of the questions I ask myself:
Does "God" need to be understood Read more [...]
Life is '“a conversation that has gone on for centuries,” that one comes in and one tries to hear others both dead and living, and eventually may add to the conversation. “But there comes a time to leave the conversation and the conversation will go on.”' Paul Ricoeur saw his life as a conversation, and his was a conversation I can only dream to join...
Ricoeur was a French philosopher (aren’t they all?) who wrote over 50 books and is one of the top five most important philosophers Read more [...]
"There are three problems in this world..." Sekai Holland opened her speech "1. men, 2. men, and 3. men." 
"Feminism" is an interesting word. In my ignorance it used to bring to mind images of men-hating women demanding to work, wear suits, and take off their bras. The idea of studying feminism or being a feminist was as foreign to me as studying astronomy and being an alien. Born in 1982 I missed the fight for women's rights and, without giving it a moment of appreciation, I have reaped the Read more [...]
The truth can hurt. It's a harsh world, and a harsh critique: “White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy”. Unfortunately those four words capture a certain truth about our history and prevailing political and economical hierarchy of power.
These words come from American author, feminist, and social activist, Bell Hooks.
Hooks uses the term "white supremacy" above “racism” as white supremacy ‘evokes a political world that we all frame ourselves in relation to.’
They say life Read more [...]
I love it when Spanish words resemble their English equivalent. Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, illustrated by Andy Warhol, is a cheat code for English speakers to learn Spanish. Carried out with a sense of humour too. See if you can guess these words: diferente; conveniente; elefante; producto; intereste; nación; universidad; usé... I've been recommending this book to so many people that I figure I should share it on here.
Some the cheat code:
Words that end in ‘or’ are often Read more [...]
I've been thinking about the idea of a "revolution", and wondering why exactly one would want to "revolve" to the beginning, completely start again? What would be the point of bring down The Pyramid, only to have to build one up again?
Revolution may not be a dirty word, but it does seem kinda stupid. Capitalism and democracy have done a lot of good for society, from technological advances that enhance the lives of many, to bringing women out of the house, and empowering citizens to have a right Read more [...]
If you're not in Sydney (like me) or can't make it to protest, you can still spread the word about this peaceful protest to change the rules of our global capitalist game.
Stop banks and corporations:
- reducing humans to commodities
- controlling media
- funding both sides of wars
- destroying the environment
SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER 2:30pm
Reserve Bank of Australia
Martin Place and Macquarie Street
Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122116297893189&ref=ts
Occupy Read more [...]
What is #OccupyWallSt? Who are the 1%? Why did it take the media so long to report on it? What do protestor's want? Are they trying to bring down The Pyramid? Will they succeed?
I am teaching a class on the Philosophy of War and Peace in North Carolina, with a specific focus on the Arab Spring. Yet here in America I might be witnessing the greatest revolution of them all: the "OccupyWallSt" movement, and its children.
When I showed RapNews to students a few weeks ago, I had no idea that it Read more [...]
Recently learning about the occupation of Wall Street, I thought it worthwhile to re-post my two cents on ten ways to change the world:
1. Change corporation law - redefine "corporation" so that they are NOT treated as separate entities in their own right that can be declared bankrupt in and of themselves. Corporation law must be adjusted to hold shareholders responsible for monetary and non-monetary profits and loss.
2. Change finance / stock market laws - in implementing the Read more [...]
‘I don’t believe life has a purpose. Life is a lot of protoplasm with an urge to reproduce and continue in being... but each incarnation, you might say, has a potentiality, and the mission of life is to live that potentiality.'
Joseph Campbell is an incredible storyteller, spiritual guru, philosopher, academic (comparative religion & comparative mythology), writer, etc etc. Another old dead guy with a wicked sense of humour that I'm sure I would have fallen for in his day.
So "How do Read more [...]
Following my rants on the problems with our current corporatist version of capitalism, Annie Lennox does a much better job at summing up what's wrong with our current "democracy", and how it came to be that way:
The programming code in these entities we call "corporations" needs to change. Corporations are not people, and they shouldn't have any of the freedoms or rights that people have.
We need rules and definitions that work for us, for ALL of us, not just the 1000 greedy bastards at Read more [...]
I am assisting the teaching of a master's subject called The Political Economy of Conflict and Peace, at the University of Sydney this semester. My first presentation was yesterday and in the lead up to it I drowned myself in the political economic papers and books I wrote or read over the last couple of years. And searching YouTube for parts of documentaries that I have found useful in the past. This entry has become a bit of a dumping ground for me to refer and share again at later times... maybe Read more [...]
Critical Discourse Analysis is a study of LANGUAGE, IDEOLOGY, POWER and SOCIAL CHANGE. 'Discourse analysis is not a “level” of analysis as, say, phonology or lexico-grammar, but an exploration of how “texts” at all levels work within sociocultural practices,’ says Candlin in the Preface to Fairclough. If you didn't already gauge from the title then take this as your warning: this entry contains high levels of academic language. It is also disjointed and includes a lot of quotes (because Read more [...]
Do you ever sit there, on a park bench, at the beach, or even out of your car window, and simply observe the people that walk by? What are they wearing? What do their facial expressions and body language tell you? Do you ever put words in other peoples mouths? Guessing what they are talking about.
A couple bickering. "Why are you always like that?" "You never listen." "That's because all you do is complain..."
A dude trying to pick up a chick. "How you doin?" "Piss off!" "Come on..." "Seriously, Read more [...]
Does school prepare us for life in the real world? Is knowledge passed from academia to public spheres? Are we learning from the past, or do we continue to make the same mistakes? How well do we really understand ourselves and others in our geopolitical, social, and historical context?
It seems to me there are major gaps within our distribution of knowledge.
Today I want to focus on one of those gaps, the gap between life in school and life after school. Over the coming weeks I will look at Read more [...]
Have you ever wondered why one Joker can beat four Kings. I mean, what does a joker have, besides a funny hat? How does a character based on the Fool, kick all these kings' asses?
I have been considering the relationship between seriousness and sarcasm, peace and tragedy, efforts to conserve and the innate drive to create... I think there is some kind of answer to this riddle here, somewhere, among far too many ideas I am juggling in my head.
Alfred North Whitehead, my current philosophy hero, Read more [...]
I want to revisit the social, economic and political pyramid I discussed in my last post: Preserving the Pyramid- the Reason Things Are the Way They Are, sharing my evolving thoughts on the question: do alternatives exist?
While it seems overall human civilisations only really know the pyramid, if we think outside the square - could any other shapes work?
When I first considered this question I drew a number of shapes:
Could we operate in a circle, a flat line, a square, a rectangle, a diamond?
"How Read more [...]
Today the Westminster Magistrates’ Court will decide the fate of Julian Assange, well at least whether or not he will get bail. And so while I haven't even told you much about last Friday's rally yet, I had better briefly inform any Sydney readers that there will be another rally at 530pm, again at Town Hall, today. 
Professor Emeritus Stuart Rees (from Sydney Peace Foundation, and my friend and mentor) will be speaking, so if you are Sydney, do come along. It's sure to be informative, Read more [...]
I drew this up flowchart / map of religious beliefs about three years ago. I agree with this quote in part. Thinking can be terrifying. At the time I drew up this map I was at the beginning of an emotional process of learning to think - discovering where the worldview of my upbringing fit with the worldview of other people's upbringing.
Can you see where your beliefs fit?
There seems to be an endless list of ism's. Have I missed yours? If I've missed any to do with key categories of beliefs Read more [...]