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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Every Idea Have Its Own Seasonal Cycles

Understanding seasonal cycles can lead to more creativity and more original ideas, according to an article in Kosmos Journal. The seasons provide a framework for understanding how to develop ideas, especially in academic work. Autumn is the time for active seed planting (both intellectual and actual seeds), winter provides a period of rest and gestation, spring is when new life and ideas emerge, and summer is the time to gather physical or intellectual fruits. Many people fail to honor the individual rhythms of scholastic work in Western academia, the authors argue, especially when educators insist that students work on collective, rigid deadlines. People also tend to shortchange the “feminine” seasons of winter and spring, curtailing the true creative process by rushing from literature review to writing without allowing a patient pause for new ideas to grow. As a result, academics are left with “‘second-order’ creativity or smart mental permutation of already known ideas” and a dearth of innovation.

Whether in nature or in human reality, a creative process usually unfolds through several general stages that correspond roughly with the seasonal cycle of nature: action (Autumn, preparing the terrain and planting the seeds; the body, studying what is already known about a subject matter, i.e., the body of literature); germination/gestation (Winter, rooting and nourishment of the seed inside the earth; the vital, conception of novel developments in contact with unconscious transpersonal and archetypal sources); blooming (Spring, emerging toward the light of buds, leaves, and flowers; the heart, first conscious feelings and rough ideas); and harvest (Summer, selection of mature fruits and shared celebration; the mind, intellectual selection, elaboration, and offering of the fruits of the creative process). Let us briefly look at each of these seasons and how they can be appropriately supported in the context of academic work .

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Posted by Ajay :: 6:13 PM :: 0 comments

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Redefining World............

Sociologist Ulrich Beck presents seven theses to combat the global power of capital

The nationalist perspective - which equates society with the society of the nation state - blinds us to the world in which we live. In order to perceive the interrelatedness of people and of populations around the globe in the first place, we need a cosmopolitan perspective. The common terminological denominator of our densely populated world is "cosmopolitanisation", which means the erosion of distinct boundaries dividing markets, states, civilizations, cultures, and not least of all the lifeworlds of different peoples. The world has not certainly not become borderless, but the boundaries are becoming blurred and indistinct, becoming permeable to flows of information and capital. Less so, on the other hand, to flows of people: tourists yes, migrants no. Taking place in national and local lifeworlds and institutions is a process of internal globalisation. This alters the conditions for the construction of social identity, which need no longer be impressed by the negative juxtaposition of "us" and "them".

For me, it is important that cosmopolitanisation does not occur somewhere in abstraction or on a global scale, somewhere above people's heads, but that it takes place in the everyday lives of individuals ("mundane cosmopolitanisation"). The same is true for the internal operations of politics, which have become global on all levels, even that of domestic politics, because they must take account of the global dimension of mutual interdependencies, flows, networks, threats, and so on ("global domestic politics"). We must ask, for example: How does our understanding of power and control become altered from a cosmopolitan perspective? By way of an answer, I offer seven theses.

Globalisation is anonymous control
First thesis

In the relationship between the global economy and the state a meta power play is under way, a struggle for power in the context of which the rules concerning power in the national and international system of states are being rewritten. The economy in particular has developed a kind of meta power, breaking out of the power relations organized in terms of territories and the nation state to conquer new power strategies in digital space. The term "meta power play" means that one fights, struggles for power, and simultaneously alters the rules of world politics, with their orientation to the nation state.

The pursuit of the question as to the source of the meta power of capital strategies brings one up against a remarkable cirucumstance. The basic idea was expressed in the title of an eastern European newspaper which appeared during a 1999 visit by the German Federal Chancellor, and which read: "We forgive the Crusaders and await the investors." It is the precise reversal of the calculations of classical theories of power and control which facilitates the maximization of the power of transnational enterprises: the means of coercion is not the threat of invasion, but instead the threat of the non-invasion of the investors, or of their departure. That is to say, there is only one thing more terrible than being overrun by the multinationals, and that is not to be overrun by them.

This form of control is no longer associated with the carrying out of commands, but instead with the possibility of being able to invest more advantageously in other countries, and with the threat potential opened up by such opportunities, namely the threat of doing nothing, of declining to invest in a given country. The new power of the concerns is not based on the use of violence as the ultima ratio to compel others to conform to one's will. It is far more flexible because able to operate independently of location, and hence globally.

Not imperialism, but non-imperialism; not invasion, but the withdrawal of investments constitutes the core of global economic power. This de-territorialised economic power requires neither political implementation nor political legitimacy. In establishing itself, it even bypasses the institutions of the developed democracies, including parliaments and courts. This meta power is neither legal nor legitimate; it is "translegal". But it does alter the rules of the national and international system of power.

The analogy between the military logistics of state power and the logic of economic power is striking and astonishing. The volume of investment capital corresponds to the fire-power of military weaponry, with the decisive distinction, however, that in this case, power is augmented by threatening not to shoot. Product development is the equivalent of the updating of weaponry systems. The establishment of branches by large corporations in many different countries replaces military bases and the diplomatic corps. The old military rule that offence is the best defence, now translated, reads: States must invest in research and development in order to fully maximize the global offensive power of capital. Growing together with research and educational budgets (or so it is hoped) is the volume of a given state's voice in the arena of world politics.
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Posted by Ajay :: 5:20 PM :: 0 comments

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Faithfulness Is a Fantasy...............?

You can accuse the disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer of many things in his decision to flout the law by soliciting the services of a pricey prostitute: hypocrisy, egomania, sophomoric impulsiveness and self-indulgence, delusional ineptitude and boneheadedness. But one trait decidedly not on display in Mr. Spitzer’s splashy act of whole-life catabolism was originality.
It’s all been done before, every snickering bit of it, and not just by powerful “risk-taking” alpha men who may or may not be enriched for the hormone testosterone. It’s been done by many other creatures, tens of thousands of other species, by male and female representatives of every taxonomic twig on the great tree of life. Sexual promiscuity is rampant throughout nature, and true faithfulness a fond fantasy. Oh, there are plenty of animals in which males and females team up to raise young, as we do, that form “pair bonds” of impressive endurance and apparent mutual affection, spending hours reaffirming their partnership by snuggling together like prairie voles or singing hooty, doo-wop love songs like gibbons, or dancing goofily like blue-footed boobies.

Yet as biologists have discovered through the application of DNA paternity tests to the offspring of these bonded pairs, social monogamy is very rarely accompanied by sexual, or genetic, monogamy. Assay the kids in a given brood, whether of birds, voles, lesser apes, foxes or any other pair-bonding species, and anywhere from 10 to 70 percent will prove to have been sired by somebody other than the resident male.

As David P. Barash, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle, put it with Cole Porter flair: Infants have their infancy; adults, adultery. Dr. Barash, who wrote “The Myth of Monogamy” with his psychiatrist-wife, Judith Eve Lipton, cited a scene from the movie “Heartburn” in which a Nora Ephronesque character complains to her father about her husband’s philanderings and the father quips that if she’d wanted fidelity, she should have married a swan. Fat lot of good that would have done her, Dr. Barash said: we now know that swans can cheat, too. Instead, the heroine might have considered union with Diplozoon paradoxum, a flatworm that lives in gills of freshwater fish. “Males and females meet each other as adolescents, and their bodies literally fuse together, whereupon they remain faithful until death,” Dr. Barash said. “That’s the only species I know of in which there seems to be 100 percent monogamy.” And where the only hearts burned belong to the unlucky host fish.

Even the “oldest profession” that figured so prominently in Mr. Spitzer’s demise is old news. Nonhuman beings have been shown to pay for sex, too. Reporting in the journal Animal Behaviour, researchers from Adam Mickiewicz University and the University of South Bohemia described transactions among great grey shrikes, elegant raptorlike birds with silver capes, white bellies and black tails that, like 90 percent of bird species, form pair bonds to breed. A male shrike provisions his mate with so-called nuptial gifts: rodents, lizards, small birds or large insects that he impales on sticks. But when the male shrike hankers after extracurricular sex, he will offer a would-be mistress an even bigger kebab than the ones he gives to his wife — for the richer the offering, the researchers found, the greater the chance that the female will agree to a fly-by-night fling.

In another recent report from the lubricious annals of Animal Behaviour entitled “Payment for sex in a macaque mating market,” Michael D. Gumert of Hiram College described his two-year study of a group of longtailed macaques that live near the Rimba ecotourist lodge in the Tanjung Puting National Park of Indonesia. Dr. Gumert determined that male macaques pay for sex with that all-important, multipurpose primate currency, grooming. He saw that, whereas females groomed males and other females for social and political reasons — to affirm a friendship or make nice to a dominant — and mothers groomed their young to soothe and clean them, when an adult male spent time picking parasites from an adult female’s hide, he expected compensation in the form of copulation, or at the very least a close genital inspection. About 89 percent of the male-grooming-female episodes observed, Dr. Gumert said in an interview from Singapore, where he is on the faculty of Nanyang Technological University, “were directed toward sexually active females” with whom the males had a chance of mating.
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Posted by Ajay :: 5:11 PM :: 0 comments

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