“The Sky is Filling! The Sky is Filling!”

Manila+or+Mordor funnyjunk

Manila Skies

It seems to me that the 78,000 people who have applied to Mars One to be the first colonizers of the Red Planet are both brave and smart. It is time to get off this failing orb.

Chicken Little and his friends Turkey Lurky and Lucky Ducky were correct to panic, but for the wrong reason:

The sky is not falling. It is filling up.

It is filling up with chemicals that are sure to create havoc for more and more inhabitants around the globe every year. Death. Destruction. Horrors.

Life is not supposed to be filled with real-time horrors.

But that is what we are staring at.

  • “Oh, Joe. You exaggerate. You fear monger you!”

Well, when I read headlines that the United Nations believes bugs are the food of the future, I know we are living on the edge of the end. BUGS!

  • “Here, darling, have another helping of pancit and cockroaches!”

Well, I suppose if they ground the creepy creatures into dust and loaded them as an additive into the peanut butter I might try a little.

But running out of palatable food is just one aspect of the doom that is mashing its way toward us like a bazillion lunatic Germans goosestepping down the road. Google is setting out to visually document the phenomenon of planetary change on “Google Earth”. You can watch cities explode with more buildings and see the rain-forests disappear. You can watch glaciers shrink to become snowballs. What a jolly good time that Google gives us. They always did have a wry sense of humor. So they are presenting us with a time-lapse of our self destruction, our slo-mo stupidity as the human species demonstrates that it is obviously not the fittest one on the planet.

Those cockroaches in our peanut butter seem to have a better probability of getting through the climate crunch than we humanoid clowns. I say clowns because we are able to rationalize and justify bad behavior, deny responsibility, always make it “the other guy’s fault”, whilst all flushing ourselves down the same ecological toilet. Really funny, eh?  ha ha ha

Carbon is our problem. Well, carbon dioxide, to be more particular.

We are belching it into the atmosphere by the ton, day after day. A Google time lapse-photo would show one gigantic, millineum-long carbonic fart, spewing a wrapping much like plastic around our globe, trapping in the heat, and assuring us that we will face horrific storms and heat waves and drought and disruption of food supplies for our ever-populating wee little planet.

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now above 400 parts per million, a level at which climate change most assuredly becomes extreme, causing scientists to veritably scream that “the sky is filling, the sky is filling!”:

  • “It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a unit of Columbia University. (NY Times)
  • “It takes a long time to melt ice, but we’re doing it,” Dr. Keeling said. “It’s scary.”
  • “If you start turning the Titanic long before you hit the iceberg, you can go clear without even spilling a drink of a passenger on deck,” said Richard B. Alley, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. “If you wait until you’re really close, spilling a lot of drinks is the best you can hope for.”
  • “If you’re looking to stave off climate perturbations that I don’t believe our culture is ready to adapt to, then significant reductions in CO2 emissions have to occur right away,” said Mark Pagani, a Yale geochemist who studies climates of the  past. “I feel like the time to do something was yesterday.”

Fo sho.

A United Nations report cites the Philippines as the globe’s third most vulnerable nation to global warming.  The likely outcome of the carbon-heavy atmosphere and the planet doing a slow broil: ” . . . hotter climates, bleaching of corals, plankton (fish food) dying, fish also dying from lack of food and eventually humans not having enough fish and protein supply.” Boy howdy, I don’t know about you but I enjoy eating.

Real food. Not bugs.

The seas will be higher, perhaps up to a meter by the end of this century.  I thought about this as we returned from Hong Kong and landed at the Tacloban airport, where the runway is just a few feet above the sea, and there is already a retaining wall around the airport. They’ll have to build that baby a meter higher, I guess. I’m glad the Philippines is popular in the Netherlands. We can use all the dike and dam experts we can get.

The arctic is losing its ice sheet and may soon return to pine forests. Just a few days ago it was announced by scientists that Mt. Everest is likely to be stripped of all its glaciers by the unrelenting heat. The tallest mountain on the planet, stripped naked, humiliated before our very eyes.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, we are populating our fragile space as if quantity were the key to survival over quality, where quality means pre-planning, and prevention and preservation of resources (like fish) and building homes on bedrock rather than the slippery slopes of flood channels. And wind farms and solar panels and wave harvesting and rice that is tolerant to salt-water flooding.

Quantity means making those Catholic priests smile.

The Philippines manages its response to climate change through the President’s Climate Change Commission. The Commission has three members and has evidently formulated three major documents:

  • National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC; PDF download file). Dated 2010-2022. 39 pages. Cites legal basis. Articulates the framework (science based, mitigation, best practices). Presents projections of warming by 2050 by region, and rainfall changes by region by 2050. Discusses sea level rise, rainforest cover, impacts on agriculture, biodiversity, infrastructure, energy and demographics. Illustrates framework for sustainable development. Examines mitigation measures for hydrocarbon emissions. Details an adaptation framework, for rivers, coastlines, health, disaster protection. Presents need for education and methods of implementation. Signed by President Arroyo. An example implementation step would be “Maximize government financing instruments at the national and local levels as source of funds for the National Framework Strategy.” (Note to self: find translator of bureaucratese.) 
  • National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP; Executive Summary Only; web page embed) Dated August 19, 2011.  14 pages. Diagrammatic presentation on activities aimed at achieving seven strategic goals: Food Security, Water Sufficiency, Ecosystems and Environmental Stability, Human Security, Climate-Smart Industries and Services, Sustainable Energy, and Knowledge and Capacity Development. An example outcome in the area of Sustainable Energy would be would be “Forge private-public-civil society partnerships . . .”
  • Guidance for Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP). This document was not found on the web site. What was found were multiple “procurement” requests for consultancy services for Eastern Samar, Batanes, and Siargao. Four of the projects were for Eastern Samar which seems to be getting most of the focus of attention. It appears that the Commission is taking a hands on, region by region, approach to training up local people to understand and respond to climate change.

Frankly, I confess to being skeptical. The documents are elaborate, without question. I look at the warming and rainfall projections in the NFSCC and get nervous. A very thorough document. So is the NCCAP. Exhaustive, even at the executive summary level.

But I’m not convinced that the rubber is meeting the road. It seems to be a pattern in Philippine government, very detailed documentation that is impressive. But execution that lags or is disjointed. How do we get from words to deeds? I read some fine academic words from the Commission, but don’t see where anything has actually been DONE. Has new zoning been established? Have people been relocated off the flood banks? Do we know what farms and businesses are most vulnerable to rising seas? Manila is extraordinarily vulnerable; what is happening there? How’s the water supply in Luzon? Is the Commission going to micromanage every locality?

I’d argue for simplicity of presentation showing exactly what achievements are planned rather than an elaborate, comprehensively documented and incomprehensible academic presentation that even highly educated people can’t quite grasp. And I’d argue for a clear set of practical priorities that are within reason to be achieved. And I’d argue for delegated accountability for local follow-through, budgeted and funded centrally.

Somehow the Commission needs to get from high-minded academic-speak to real-world action.

Perhaps do a few “gimmies”, the quick, easy accomplishments that make a difference. Like maybe start some bug farms . . . I’ve got a few thousand critters out back they are welcome to  . . .

Photo credit: jarofgoo at funnyjunk.com
Comments
43 Responses to ““The Sky is Filling! The Sky is Filling!””
  1. The Mouse says:

    This is what I call, brilliant thesis, very poor execution.

    Both at fault are the government and the populace.

    Where I grew up, in Baguio, trash collection has been a long problem. The city government initiated recycling by providing different bins in public places. But the public never cooperated…to make matters worse, the plastic bins were stolen and sold to places where plastic are recycled.

    The Philippines might need to review some laws before being able to implement relocation and zoning. Like for example the Lina law that gives people the “right to squat”. But then, you know the leftists in the Philippines. They are pro-regress, not pro-progress.

    But maybe, there is hope?
    http://sundaypunch.prepys.com/archives/2011/03/06/bsl-assures-squatters-relocation-before-ejection/

    • Joe America says:

      I was sorry to see that Hagedorn did not get into the Senate. He has done some remarkable things in Palawan, including taking care of the former squatters by providing respectable housing. This went hand in hand with commercial growth (tourism). These matters can be solved. The big missing part is the will and the way to enforce laws.

      • The Mouse says:

        IKR? The Filipino voting pattern is that inexperienced people get the the senate while people with impressive LGU experience don’t.

        Which leads me to another point. I think the currentsenate structure is useless. What do our 24 senatators represent? Nada. IMO, I think Senate voting should be done per region. One senator per region. At least the whole Philippines is represented. In the current set up, only Metro Manila and adjacent areas are “represented”(if they even are represented)

        • Joe America says:

          The senate is the monarchy of the Philippines, without the king or queen. It is princes and princesses, dukes and jokers. Regional would be better, competence best.

  2. andrew lim says:

    If you study the history of the planet’s evolution, nature always finds a way to correct things. But then again, some planets seem to have turned into lifeless deserts. Or were they like that before, and life did not evolve at all?

    Oh, the earth will be just fine. It’s the humans in it that may be gone years from now. There could be different life forms by then. Just take a look at that bastardization of the Bonifacio Global City, the new SM Aura mall. ha ha ha

    Which makes you ask: what is the significance of mankind then? Calling our resident cosmologist, Edgar Lores. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Ha. Yes, we need Edgar’s guidance here, for sure. I think the bugs are bound to win, in the end, and it is just a matter of time as to when they triumph. The earth is a finite place, smaller with each added human assigned the task of gobbling her up.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Absolutely, I need not go to Mars to survive I just go to America and evolve. I now eat raw vegetables, fish and barely-cooked filet mignon. I drink goat milk instead of cows milk. I learned to eat Tilapia. Back in the Philippines uncooked vegetables and half-cooked beef gave me upset tummy now I have evolved. I eat uncooked food. My mother was bewildered I drink goat milk. Que Horror!!! Filipinos in the Philippines still puke over goat milk. And, Tilapia. In the days I was living in the Philippines Cebuanos did not eat Tilapia because it is dirty and only poor people eat it.

      Filipinos have also evolvingly involved they now have fairer to whitish skin. They do not speak my dialect anymore but English. They wear long-sleeves. Put on beanies and scarf and Ugg boots. Must be getting colder in the Philippines.

      FILIPINOS HAVE EVOLVED !!!!

      Filipinos are evolving smart voters. They vote Jinkie Pacquiao as Vice-Governor. Kris Aquino. Bongbong Marcos. Congressman Pacquiao.

      • Joe America says:

        Which reminds me. I read yesterday where Nancy Binay’s first project will be to try to shut down social media’s influence on elections. She thinks we are irresponsible and need to be controlled (censored). Boy howdy, there is a woman who grasps the principles of democracy. My commitment to not criticizing her lasted up to the time she first opened her mouth as a senator.

        • edgar lores says:

          I went through the agony of watching her interview on Rappler to see for myself if my perception of her was biased. It wasn’t. She is – I don’t know – ‘precious’ in an ironic sense. When asked how she would differentiate herself from her Papa, she replied, “If he’s Coke… then I am Coke Zero.” Coca-Cola may or may not have been amused.

          • Joe America says:

            Seems to me she could be well on her way to zeroing out Daddy’s shot at the presidency.

          • The Mouse says:

            That is dangerous

            12 oz regular Coke = 360 Calories
            12 oz Coke Zero = 0 Calories?

            How will the Philippines move forward and accelerate without Calories? LOL

          • edgar lores says:

            I went through the ecstasy of watching Leni’s (Robredo) interview on Rappler to see for myself if my perception of her was per my expectations. It was. She is – I would have you know – integrity personified. When asked how she would differentiate herself from her husband, she had a long reply and said among other things that you had to “immerse yourself” with the people and not just have hypothetical notions. She is a Change Agent. Her sincerity, intelligence and courage shine. You should listen to her on vote buying. Her last message was something like: “If I change like other politicians who had ideals but were changed by power — then I add to the hopelessness of the people. I will have to remind myself daily not to change.” I think she embodies Gandhi’s admonition: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

          • Joe America says:

            Interesting that this agent of change intends to accomplish it by NOT changing her integrity. Corruption, get thy ugly being out of the Philippines. Let the good people rise.

    • edgar lores says:

      Om.

      • Joe America says:

        ahahahaha That is you centering on meditation, I presume, to prevent high blood and the tendency to want to scream “omg!” like the Taiwanese scream “murder!”..

    • edgar lores says:

      Expansion of ‘Om’.

      1. Teleology is the study of ultimate ends — of human destiny.

      2. There are many teleological doctrines ranging from Absurdity and Nothingness to Heaven and Hell. I am rather amused by the promise of virgins and who can forget ‘42’? One of the most recent is that we are a cosmic computer experiment, a Sim World or a Sim Universe.

      3. My thinking is that ultimate ends do not matter. Or rather, it matters but it does not matter.

      4. What matters is we are here and now, and we have to make the best of it . It being ourselves and the world. There are several variations of this seemingly Sisyphean effort:

      4.1. I stated my goal in the previous blog on goals and I will restate it now: “I would like to think in the best way I can, behave in the best way I can, without causing harm. Other than that, I would like to read and listen to music.”

      4.2. The Dalai Lama puts it well: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness”.

      4.3. Or Kierkegaard: “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

      4.4. Of it you prefer Zen: “Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water”.

      4.5. Or Buddhism in general: “Before too long life ends in death, and whatever is worthwhile and good, should be done, without further delay; this is the meaning of life.”

      5. Sorry, guys, no grandiose scheme, no visions of unearthly paradise. As best as I can intuit, the meaning of human existence is not any meaning provided by philosophy or religion. Ultimately, the meaning of our existence is the meaning we provide.

      • Joe America says:

        I’m with Kierkegaard, who would hold that those with a Sisyfusian perspective ought to screw their heads on the right way and learn to surf, smoke weed, solve problems, chop wood and carry water. I’ve also believe Filipinos do a better job of being Kierkegaardian than Americans, or most engineers. ahahahahahaha hooooo heee 😮

      • andrew lim says:

        Dang. I thought the universe existed for Bill Gates, a secular humanist of the highest order. He jokingly claimed before that the universe was created for him. But look at the good he has done- pledging much of his fortune to charity, and finding ways to eradicate diseases.

        The Binays could also claim that the world is their oyster – though the chattering classes will disagree, and will work to thwart them.

  3. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I can sense Philippines is getting warmer and hotter compared to the early days. PAG-ASA has no statistics as always the case of government entities. We are just lucky we are blessed with rain and rains are getting more frequent and longer and intense.

    The place I just cannot live in is Manila. That place is like living inside a Panaderia. It is soooo oppressingly hot. The smoke belching diesel busses chokes my senses. I’d rather smoke weed than stand in wait for my bus to come along EDSA. Waiting for bus at EDSA is more dangerous than smoking a baleful of weed.

    • Joe America says:

      Pages 9 and 10 of the NFSCC document cited in the article show that temperatures throughout the Philippines will rise roughly 1 degree centigrade from 2020 to 2050, but Mindanao will get the worst of it. Manila actually fares best, but, hey, the heat is rising everywhere. Mindanao will see a reduction of rainfall. Given enough time, we may have a Great Philippine Desert.

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. I have stated that the problems we have are problems of consciousness. In global warming, we see at least two issues of cognition.
    1.1. Cognitive bias
    1.2. Cognitive dissonance

    2. I am just beginning to study cognition, and I will be using these technical terms according to how I see them.

    3. Cognitive bias, to me, is the refusal to accept evidence contrary to one’s belief or thinking. There is growing evidence of global warming, and yet there continues to be global warming skeptics and outright atheists. In Australia, the Prime Minister is a religious atheist and the Leader of the Opposition is a global warming atheist. The former does not believe in what cannot be seen and the latter refuses to believe in what can be seen.

    3.1. The Australian government has recently passed and imposed a Carbon Tax to mitigate the effects of global warming. Australia ranks 15th in CO2 emissions. According to Wikipedia, while it generates only 1.3% of global emissions, the country is the highest emitter on a per capita basis. Nine months after the tax, emissions due to electricity generation have reduced to a 10-year low. Despite this, the Opposition intends to scrap the carbon tax. (This is cognitive blindness.)

    3.2. In comparison, the Philippines ranks 46th and generates only 0.24% of emissions.

    4. Cognitive dissonance, to me, is the refusal to act in accordance with one’s belief or thinking. The Philippines accepts the truth of global warming but refuses to act. So on this issue, the Philippines does not have cognitive bias only cognitive dissonance.

    4.1. In other matters, Filipinos have both cognitive dysfunctions. For example, with respect to cognitive bias and political dynasties, Filipinos continue to vote for these self-serving family members. They do not see dynasties as harmful. And with respect to cognitive dissonance and religion, clergy and laity do not act according to the tenets of their faiths. They continue to steal and kill.

    5. I submit that the small-mindedness of the Filipino consists (a) in the narrow focus of perception resulting in these cognitive dysfunctions as well as (b) in the disability to analyse and analyse correctly.

    • Joe America says:

      As I look at this, the U.S. is the climate thug, much like China is the sea thug, and the Philippines is the victim. I have no idea why controlling carbon emissions is even in the documentation for the Climate Commission. Screaming bloody murder at the U.S. ought to be in the documentation. You are right, there is little useful analysis and precious little organized, applied ingenuity.

      That said, a piece of good news, I see where three new wind farms are lined up for private funding in Northern Luzon. The first and largest is in the 60 megawatt range as I recollect; something like that. The others are smaller. Going green can be profitable. I’m going to propose a hydroelectric dam for here on Biliran Island once I identify someone in authority who is interested in something other than roads and cock fighting.

      • The Mouse says:

        Wind farms are excellent for Northern Luzon esp the Western Coast (not sure about the Eastern Coast since I have not been there). It’s very windy during the “ber” months.

  5. JosephIvo says:

    Just this morning I read that three top economists from the Dutch Rabobank (among the 30 largest financial institutions in the world) suggested that little has to be expected from strictly quantitative growth. “But that’s not too bad because with a high GDP other non quantifiable forms of well being get more importance, such as leisure time and clean air. Certainly, this change will not come without a fight, but this is what’s needed” The trio continues: “what people need is a perspective on improving the things that really matter. And that is not so much economic growth, but a pleasant and healthy life. ”

    To give the next generations a chance our fight should be to stop the marketers selling us the need for a third car, a second trip around the world and more juicy red meat . It’s too difficult for us, simple citizens, to resist this professional pressure. We’ll need those marketers to promote the more important things like more and simpler leisure time and cleaner air.

    • Joe America says:

      Makes sense to me. That’s where the Philippine attitude that what I have is fine, because its what I have, makes more sense than the American drive to consume like crazy to be better than the neighbors.

      Also, I note that 3-d printing provides an opportunity to grind bugs and other ingredients and print them out in quite visually attractive form.

      http://qz.com/86685/the-audacious-plan-to-end-hunger-with-3-d-printed-food/

      • JosephIvo says:

        During a fiesta, a baker in the north of my birth country would wake-up very early, have all the family he could mobilize assisting him and make as many breads and pastry as he can for the villagers and the many tourists, he will close late in the evening and calculate his extra income, dreaming of a new Mercedes and the second shop he might open soon. More is better.

        In the south a baker knows exactly what income he needs to pays his basic bills and how many breads and pastry he has to sell to make that income. Everybody in the village knows that there will be a high demand on a fiesta day so they will cue up early in the morning and at 8 am all will be sold so the baker can close his shop to enjoy the fiesta. Life is good as it is.

        What baker is more clever?

        PS: the North has the mentality of northern Europe, the South of southern Europe (as Spain… and thus the Philippines?)

        • Joe America says:

          Both are clever for the communities they are in, but if the communities are joined, the northern baker will drive the southern baker out of business. Therefore, he (north) is more clever.

          • JosephIvo says:

            Isn’t this thinking the cause of our problem with the environment? There are moments that we will have to accept that the store is empty, just the leftovers from yesterday will have to do. And that’s not so bad because somebody else will enjoy his leisure time. It can’t be all about more growth, the planet is too small. For business and driving consumption it is indeed the northern baker, create need for more and nicer pastries, sell more, take over the slower competition, grow, grow, grow. For the planet and the next generations we need the other one.

          • Joe America says:

            I think one can be capitalist or socialist, and the capitalist will solve the problem of global warming better and quicker than the socialist, because the price of energy or pollution or carbon emitting can be built by government into the financial model, and innovation will work around the problems. That, I hope, is what will happen. I am pessimistic when I watch US congress work, but that is not a function of capitalism, but democracy allowed to get acrimonious and self-dealing without penalty. I’m inclined to think the northern baker will provide the best customer service and most innovative and competitive products, and would adopt best to government regulations protecting the environment.

          • JosephIvo says:

            My frustration doesn’t come from an ideological motivation but from my work deep inside the African jungle 40 years ago. My students short time goal was drinking Coca Cola, there long term dream driving a white Mercedes. Why is the whole world has to have the same western consumption driven values? My only explanation so far is that we are all human beings and that marketers are experts in knowing what our easy drivers are, such as sugar, certain beat, colors… how to introduce new products via early adopters, celebrities… PPPP and they play this game perfectly.

            With all respect for Cha and with envy for the dynamic neighborhood she lives in, the majority of the 7 billion people are not as well organized to initiate the first forms of resistance. Indeed the free market works best but only on a leveled playing field. Unlimited capitalism crushes the masses. So balancing powers are needed as governments, civil organizations, artistic dreamers…. and blog sites like this one.

    • cha says:

      It’s called affluenza, this disease of epidemic overconsumption. Can be treated with Voluntary Simplicity.

      “To reform the world, we must first reform ourselves.”

      • JosephIvo says:

        You think we are stronger than the expert marketers employed by mega companies, knowing human behavior better then we know ourselves? Why do people have cell phones even if they don’t have money to buy enough rice? And why do we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like? Some professionals can make us behave that crazy.

        • The Mouse says:

          “Why do people have cell phones even if they don’t have money to buy enough rice?”

          In Philippine parlance: Social climbing

        • cha says:

          Oh I do get your point about the “power” of the marketer over his loyal subjects, the consumers. Yes, time and again the advertisers have proven themselves more clever than us. I see all these “eco friendly” products now being sold in almost every retail outlet I go to and I see how it sets back the green movement all over again.

          But what can I, little ole suburban wife and mother me, really do to unseat the high and mighty marketing guy? Not much on a grand scale, I’m afraid. But in my own little kingdom, where I happen to be sleeeping with the king (wink wink) I can literally and figuratively show the marketing tyrant out the door.

          We gave up the second car for some time and only bought another one when our eldest turned 18. Now the younger one just got her driving Learner’s License and so there’s some sort of pressure for that third car now. We’ll see how long we can hold off.

          There is also this worldwide freecycling movement that our household has become a part of. The freecycling movement started in America in the early ’80s and is now in over 85 countries. The objective is to reduce landfill waste by promoting sharing of used but still useable stuff among members of a local community. It’s becoming one of the biggest environmental communities in the world, with over nine million members.

          Everyday I get email notifications from people in my local area of items they no longer need and are willing to give away to others. Furniture, small kitchen appliances, clothing, books, unwanted gifts etc. If I want any of them, I just respond to the email and if I happen to be the first, I then get directions on where and when I can pick up. I also get to post and give away my own unwanted items instead of just throwing them away. (though my daughter says she gets jittery whenever I do my usual rounds checking for what we don’t really need or no longer need. “Not my brother!”, she pleads. Har har)

  6. JosephIvo says:

    TRIZ (= Genrich Altshuller) told us (in 1946!!!) that devices evolve in offering more functions and in using less material. For some technical devices it evolves fast (old phone, cell phone, iPhone or IBM computer to iPad), for others slow (buildings, transport). For food it did not start yet, but the food printers you showed are promising, allowing more efficient sources as algae and insects, no detours needed via inefficient animal meat to produce more diverse tastes, textures and forms. The only acceptable growth has to be: doing more with less.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a good principle. Fits for 3-d food and wind farms. And a large chunk of the economy ought to be spent figuring out how to do that (better batteries, hydrogen cars, cheaper solar panels), and then changing over. That is actually happening in the US, I think. The trouble is, it is driven by personal economics (the price of gas) rather than principle.

  7. an interesting website i found. learning a lot from the articles and the comments. 🙂

  8. edgar lores says:

    1. Interesting. You guys are re-debating two schools of ancient Greek thought: Hedonism vs. Stoicism.

    2. Hedonism is seeking pleasure (think gourmand). It is affluenza, conspicuous consumption and total indulgence. Epicureanism is appreciation of pleasure (think gourmet), a moderate form of Hedonism.

    3. Stoicism is defined as “indifference to pleasure or pain” but it emphasizes living in “accordance with virtue”. A ‘gourmamet’?

    4. To a certain extent we are all gourmets, appreciator of fine thoughts and things.

    5. In practice, Joseph is a stoic thinker, Cha a stoic practitioner and Joe, I suspect, an epicure. I oscillate between hedonistic pleasures (in books and music), stoic thought and stoic consumption (in food, clothing and shelter).

    6. I basically subscribe to Joseph’s principle but would reword it as: doing more with enough. I cannot do with less. I need my Toyota, HP laptop, my Nokia phone, my Panasonic stereo, my books, my Moccona coffee. But I do not need a Mercedes-Benz, a Mac, an iPhone, Bang and Olufsen speakers or civet coffee.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m a little of each, depending on the circumstance. If we are defined by our consumption, I have a Honda Civic, a low-end Acer computer (from China?), Samsung note phone, a P19,000 sound system from Ocampos in Olongapo, my books (most from the second hand bookshop in Robin’s mall, a choice of thrift, not recycling, so there is no honor to it), and my Siete Baracos coffee from Batangas which is absolutely the best in the world. I’d like a big-ass Honda bullet-proof SUV, with driver and body guard, but will stick with staying home and sipping the coffee, mango juice or san mig in the meantime. My wife has all kinds of junk, much of which glitters, but that is a different discussion . . .

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