The University of Alberta is actually a pretty good school but continues to bestow honorary degrees. Despite Ron MacLean being a “good guy”, in my estimation he should not be awarded a “degree” from my Alma Mater if he has not earned it. Nor should have David Suzuki or any other recipient be awarded an “Honorary Degree”.
You see, the process of earning a degree requires work and sacrifice. One undertakes course work as an adult in pursuit of career knowledge. Course work may also entail studies of the humanities as supplemental to ones’ core discipline. In fact, at the end of a bachelor’s program, one is positioned to advance a discipline through post graduate studies and research. Those who make it through a Bachelor’s program have sacrificed finance in achieving a “parchment”, likely have undertaken debt, and have consequently have made a personal investment in their profession. Awarding “honorary degrees” to individuals for accomplishments outside the realm of academic endeavour having not completed prescribed curriculum simply debases the degree and frankly offends those who sacrificed in actualizing the requirements set forth from day one. I speak for myself and obviously others but not all.
Do specific citizens deserve recognition aside from that
obtained from community, family, and career compensation? Yes. I do not object
to governments, charities, communities, and sports and arts associations from
awarding its contributors. However; university honorary degrees are simply
The U of A will once again call me this year looking for a “donation”.
Unfortunately, the first year student volunteering his / her time to make the
call will be confronted with my indignant response. This individual in his /
her youth and inexperience to much monetary and absolute in opinion will be
perplexed that such a defined position will be taken.
happening. Behavioral patterns are being negatively impacted by technology and perturbations
are arising. The full deployment of Artificial Intelligence is rapidly approaching
and there is relatively little push back in the context of understanding
consequences. Few have read any study regarding the impact technology will have
on relationships as we delve mercilessly into the AI age. Decorum, etiquette,
empathetic response, expressions of subtlety and anxiety are all variables of
communication which possess linear paths to a non-digital centre of human
sentient which no computer should be expected to calculate. Yet, objectives will be programmed
mechanically in a stale environment free from considerations of nuance. The
machine will be granted credit instead of crafty hands gifted in experience. Time
made available to under employed workers non-resilient to economic change will choose
causes detrimental to the health of humankind. The moral compass will be eroded
with citizens’ sense of power through work and contribution eroded.
As we speak, legislators have proven to be indifferent to mass murder. The suicide rate in the U.S. has increased 24 percent from 1999 to 2014. Metro cultural zeal has waned in place of commercial real estate interests. Inner cities are being routed in favor of profitable single family dwellings in suburbia where few know their neighbors. Police departments regularly turn a blind eye to civic infractions. The western hemisphere now also identifies matters of corruption specifically. Intransigence between special interests and the common good is alarming. Personal insults by politicians are apparently deemed positive for the campaign trail. Tailgating is now epidemic with zero appetite for enforcement. Drivers spurn distracted driving laws with tinted windows all around. Bullied kids still have no advocate to affect justice. Hockey parents lose their mind over a bad call. Politicians grant subsidies to millionaire athletes and billionaire owners in lieu of a populous apparently charmed by idolatry instead of their own creative pursuit.
I remember Canada differently than the aforementioned prior to the new millennium. I contend that the evolution and deployment of technology in our lives without the capacity of the person to restrict its usefulness is one variable among others which have contributed to civic decline. Oh yes….I did not use “Grammarly” to write this piece. In fact, I’ve come to learn through my relationships that kids are now no longer taught how to hand write in school.
Before I start….let me premise with the statement, I believe in “personal growth”
Here is where I differ from folks who circulate in the industry of “personal growth”. We do most of our learning as humans between the age of 0 and 15 years of age and for developing success habits our parents indeed played a large role in our growth….like it or not. Somewhere along the line in our formative years we were learning about consequences to our behavior. We were learning about rewards emanating from work and behaviors which would lead to successful relationships. We were learning right from wrong, etiquette (maybe), how to overcome, and skills necessary to complete tasks. We were learning adaptations and workarounds. We were up to challenges or we weren’t. If we were not, then we ran the risk of isolation. We learned when not to say what we were thinking. We learned to speak with strength in the right context. We learned how to assess environments with our intuitive senses and feedback mechanisms. All this was going on prior to the age of fifteen. A tremendous amount of stimuli came our way.
personal growth industry wants you to believe that you need to be remade or
remove much of what you had already learned or discard baggage or eliminate
dysfunctional relationships. Some other person is going to do a quick assessment
on your weaknesses having not lived through your years of development assumedly
by injecting a bag of tricks from the self help domain in order to make you new
I suggest that if you believe you need to find a better version of “you” that you assess your situation and work it backward for yourself for starters. Then entertain bringing in somebody else to assist with your own assessment. You do have the capacity to be honest with yourself but you must do so in the context of some reading or watching / listening to course materials in the area in order to stimulate regions within you that yearn to be fortified. Engagement with a practitioner will be much more fruitful having researched yourself first and identified sources of trouble.
It’s difficult to witness the disingenuousness of unqualified people prescribing without the authority to do so. It’s even worse to watch the low esteemed subject themselves to others when they’d be better served in solace with abundant materials available. The kinds of people one wants to see more of in the personal development space are those who have achieved what they’re espousing.
Yes. This is Donald Trump and he holds the highest office in the United States of America. You cannot defend the assertion of “crass with no class” by simply deferring to an alignment with his public policy. This is what’s been done over the past two years among those who have been defending him. You see, I actually draw a correlation between personality, personal conduct, derogatory references to minorities, and the potential for leadership mistakes. I also empathize with voters who have been disenfranchised with Washington lobbyists and governmental mismanagement leading up to a radical choice in the Republican nominee. For context, we have the latest “tweet” pertaining to the Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, Tlaib “squad” suggesting they return to their countries despite three of the four who have only known the United States.
The biggest trouble with these crass twitter remarks is the
lack of condemnation by his peers. It’s apparent that his political peers are
either afraid to rebuke his tirades in fear of reprisals or fear of becoming
the actual target of yet one more of his rants. Oh yes, then there’s the fear
of a defamation lawsuit in the back drop of man who threatens like a school
yard bully. It’s dysfunction at its
finest and in spite of being conservative in my ideology, I’ll be looking
deeply into the eyes of those who dismiss Trump’s abounding personal insults as
frivolous. The evidence of him being intolerant is abundant within the public
domain during his short tenure as President never mind any private relational
discord he would have encountered prior.
Lindsay Graham has
remarked but there was no rebuke. This is the same Lindsay Graham who endured
insults from the tongue of Trump during the contest for Republican nominee. To
be quiet amidst undeserving personal attacks of peers seeming to be racist is
to condone if travelling in circles around the President. When a nation cannot
conduct debate with dignity, good faith and confidence erodes.
If “values” matter as a principal in governance, then Mr.
Trump fails. If U.S “financial solvency” becomes the primary bench mark in
which Trump presides and somehow his leadership facilitates the return to fiscal
prudence, he’ll have a success. Or, his experience in bankruptcy and his
capacity to offend may actually serve him well should the U.S. federal debt
become unserviceable during his tenure.
First of all, you are most likely achieving more than you
think you are but society’s norms, customs and feeback mechanisms oftentimes
communicate negatively. Hence; the conditioning you receive is not necessarily
congruent with your output. Unfortunately,
there are also a few who overestimate their contribution as well. Then there’s
your government with its officials who think they know who should be bestowed
awards based on criteria unbeknownst to those too busy raising children,
volunteering modestly, and invigorating their workplace with passion and
commitment. Last time I looked, it was a hockey player receiving the Order of
Canada. I’m sure she’s a nice lady.
Here’s the thing. There is much repression in the spirit of
those who have over reached with financial responsibility thereby compromising
the pursuit of unique latent talent. The kicker is that it’s not just the
variable of “keeping up with the Jones’” which has many stymied but also the
subliminal familial and social suggestion that you are “not really good enough”
or ‘how dare you be adventurous” with career when there are mouths to feed.
Here’s the other thing. You’ll never get yesterday back. It’s
gone forever. If you spent yesterday by keeping your biggest aspiration tucked
away in that dark closet of your mind, it’s one less day you’ll have available
in fertilizing its fruition. You will have a legacy. What will it be?
Your tax money is getting spent once again on a
special interest group. I am not prejudiced against whomever fits into the
acronym of LGBTQ and whatever other letters get added in the future. In fact, I
don’t think there’s consensus yet with respect to which letters should fit at
the end. However; I am strongly against sending money to Ottawa in order to
appease a group who may have legitimate social challenges in the context of the
expression of their identity. I do not elect a government to propagate social construct.
However; I do expect my governments to enforce common sense law including
legislation around “hate”. If a parent responsible for the livelihood of
someone associated with this elongated acronym fails to provide the necessities
of life in consequence of the individual’s sexual preferences, then parent’s
wages should be garnisheed to pay for public housing in association with said
parent’s discriminatory conduct. Not the taxpayer.
At every turn, our current federal government operates
as if it has a moral authority superior to yours. It apologizes, acquiesces, and
spends as if there are no limits to your capacity to pay tax. Our current
federal government lacks the backbone to say no to any special interest group
likened to themselves on the political spectrum.
It was Justin Trudeau’s father who in fact stated that
the government has no interest in the bedrooms of Canadians. Today his son sank
your money into a program aimed at appeasing yet another group claiming victimhood
but this time because of the group’s alternate sexual appetites.
Let’s premise this whole thing. If you’ve accessed this through facebook and I’ve engaged with you over the past six months, you’re not identifiable with characteristics below.
The most fascinating revelation arising from the phenomenon of “social media” has been the propensity of more folks than expected to wield insults and criticism thereby deploying a sense of personal power on a stage unavailable to previous generations. When these same folks wouldn’t dare make such radical broadcasts at the dinner table with their grandmother, they’re all over the internet. Occasionally a healthy debate breaks out on a “thread” whereby not one individual insults while presenting an argument and I shimmy in my home office chair thinking there may be hope.
The second most fascinating revelation is the vanity
expressed by some. I wonder about the staleness of some homes responsible for nurturing
the self esteem of children and what happens to the emerging adult whose
vitality has been stifled during youth. I think to myself that “social media”
serves as a conduit for actualizing lost lustre of neglect from formative years. I wonder while unconvinced. Don’t be confused
by all those nice pictures of you and your family, activities and such. Keep ‘em
Could these platforms also serve to simply feed the egos of
some who didn’t pursue higher education but now have a forum to display their
smarts? I believe this to be partly true in some cases with other aggregating
My confidence in the human condition has been weakened when
I aggregate the behaviour that I see on “social media”. I can’t help putting
the term in italics because I consider the term “social” to aberrant of the
actual interactions foundational to the platforms (exception of note – my
membership in an imaginary band). Although weakened, I take solace in the fact
that people for the most part are followers because they haven’t been taught
nor nurtured in how to lead with moral strength. The lessons of our forefathers
in characteristics such as duty, pride, dignity, compassion, tolerance, and
respect have been lost on many. Yes… many and their foolishness is now more
transparent than ever.
On the topic of politics in social media, I’m intrigued by formative
arguments here or there. However; I believe that anybody whose lifeblood on
politics is poured into the feeds of social media should really consider
running for office especially if the tone is akin to one long diatribe. Otherwise,
at the minimum one might balance posts with other areas of interest. If posts number
more than two a day, I’m thinking you have an agenda rather than a healthy
sincere compulsion to share.
I agree. Believe in something and while doing it, undertake the process for change available to every other citizen in your country rather than grand standing at the sidelines of a sports venue. Western democracies are endowed with the right of speech freedom. This right empowers citizens irrespective of race, sex, or religious affiliation to express themselves in the public domain. What is the public domain? Well, you can write a letter. You can recite your beliefs on a street corner. You can visit a government official. You can attend a political rally. You can start a political party. You can espouse your beliefs in conversation. You can light up the twitter sphere with one liners. You can form an organization as a form of lobby. As you can see, the opportunity to freely express oneself has many outlets.
Colin Kaepernick had chosen a method of expression convenient to him in an apolitical domain – the football arena in a football uniform employed by a football franchise in the spotlight broadcast around North America via television. He chose an outlet reserved for an occasion other than politics and it was his right. The interesting thing about his behaviour is that his employer has the right to sanction him accordingly for behaviour not in accordance with his duty. His behaviour will obviously impact the perceptions of other potential employers. Some citizens loyal to his cause may empathize with his plight and even lavish him with praise of courage. However; it would be misplaced. I view Colin Kaepernick as a career martyr deserving of his plight. I consider him lazy for not pursuing the outlets of expression available to him with the same vigour in parallel to the apparent passion he brings to a cause.
As for Nike’s endorsement of him, I’ve been avoiding Nike in stores for decades.
We often think we’re in the know when we really aren’t. We come to know because of what we’ve been told but who has been doing the telling and why? In spite of the profligacy of information on the internet, we are deservedly suspect. The question becomes “what do we do and where do we turn?” if information has relevance in designing our lives.
Conspiracy theorists appeal toward our insecurity of knowledge. Through their inflammatory portrayal and oftentimes sharpness in intellect, they can even dislodge us from sound judgment. We can only harbour outlook through experience, education, reason, and observation. However; what we lack is information deliberately kept from the public domain.
From the period 2004 to 2007 I took the time to digest insights from speakers adept in the field of Austrian Economics. Having studied basic economics through my financial education, I have been rather fascinated about the contrast in the Keynesian model versus this Austrian model and whether there would be any implication to me directly in the context of these models duelling alongside future economic events.
This brings me to Jim Willie of his Golden Jackass website. Jim is a no nonsense fellow with a P.H.D. in statistics. Jim showcases himself as an economist without the credentials of an economist. He has an interest in world affairs as they relate to our monetary system and speaks with an inflammatory style typical of someone imbued of conspiracy yet logical and charismatically intelligent. His stories mostly correlate to postulations. One wonders about the worthiness of his sources but his ability to incite in my estimation supersedes any laxity inherent to his research.
He was one gentleman that struck me the deepest during this period of my economic inquisition. This weekend with the Dow Jones Industrial Average approaching a double topping chart formation, I wonder if elements key to Jim’s world view will trigger the next market correction.
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