Do not go gentle into that good night . . .

A Filipino fisherman is seen past the US Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD-20) during an amphibious landing exercise on a beach at San Antonio in Zambales province on April 21, 2015, as part of annual Philippine-US joint maneuvers some 220 kilometres (137 miles) east of the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippines voiced alarm April 20 about Chinese "aggressiveness" in disputed regional waters as it launched giant war games with the United States that were partly aimed as a warning shot to Beijing. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

US Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay during an amphibious landing exercise on a beach at San Antonio in Zambales province on April 21, 2015. [Photo credit TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images]


By Lance Corporal X

This article was also based on a throw-away comment I made in response to Sec. Yasay’s insensitive comment hinting at detente with China on the issue of the South China Sea, in which I mentioned that man-made (in China) islands are entirely moot when viewed in context of sea level rise. JoeAm acknowledged this as compelling, and suggested that it should be an article (basically, how most articles get written here). Being a good Marine, I have to oblige My Captain, O My Captain — also now and then I have to perform acts of penance for my belligerence here. I hope this article more than makes up for my recent infractions.

As I was typing away, edgar lores published his article on “Judgmental Disability“,  forcing a shift in my direction of thought. I responded with the idea of self-sacrifice hinting at death as the ultimate form of this. Later on the commentary, LG asked for seconds, with a specific order, “I wish for concrete over abstracts, re: information, to address Judgmental Disability Reduction. I hope such is the logical extension of the article/discussion. Even just piece meal aspects of it. And there are, I imagine, a hyperbolic million aspects to zoom on concretes.” Since edgar has provided us with a vector, we’ll set sail a ship upon it, which we will theme Death.

This article will be in three parts,

I. What it means to die well
II. What it means to live well
III. What to do about it

I. Dying well

I think it was Cicero who once said that philosophizing is nothing more than getting ready to die. It makes perfect sense to me, because all the wisdom and arguments in the world eventually come down to one conclusion — which is to teach us not to be afraid of dying. So the only branch of learning for me that’s worth my time is that which deals with knowing myself, and which teaches me how to live and die well. So what does it mean to die well?

I’ve been in too many unpredictable and uncontrollable situations to know that in the end, I know nothing — Socrates said something similar. What I do hold dear is my experience. So I’m basing my definition of dying well on what I’ve done, and on what I have seen and heard from others.

The people who tend to think consistently about death, aside from philosophers, are monks and soldiers. Even the most obtuse of soldiers will recognize a good death, from an average one, to an exceptional one. No one wants to die cowering in fear. I would also go so far as to say that the purpose of a Corporal and Sergeant is to inoculate their men from such fear, as this is the essence of troop welfare.

There are plenty of analogies outside of combat that we can take wisely from when talking about courage and dying— for example, this account of a suicide is, to me, a good death, even an enviable one. I’ve seen people die purely by happenstance, with no rhyme or reason, they simply stepped on a mine or drove through an IED. BOOM! Dead. These deaths I’ve always categorized as accidents, similar to car accidents on the freeway resulting in deaths. Assigning blame I’m not too concerned about in my attempt to categorize types of deaths, I’m more concerned about the mental state, in this case ignorance or surprise — where the one doing the dying has no choice.

The deaths that interest me are those in which you have a choice. Specifically, those who die for themselves and for others. Even your most unread or unwise soldier will recognize the virtue of dying in this manner. For a soldier in combat, the act of sacrifice is usually done along side the act of killing, and therein lies the rub, since the definition of a good or evil fight will differ.

Since the theme of President Duterte’s tenure seems to be focused on death and killing. It’s high time, the Philippines starts examining what it means to kill, what it means to murder and what it means to commit suicide. The last one is the most difficult as there will be a myriad of reasons and rationalizations surrounding this choice, but in the end, it is for self or others.

This is where self-sacrifice meets self-preservation. To me, the best type of death is that in which you sacrifice yourself for others. The idea of self-preservation demands that we hold out for the best type of death available. So in studying death and what it means to die well, this choice can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die.

Suicide then is the preferred method of dying, though variables and criteria will differ for each individual. I will not judge according to value, preferring instead factual judgment — based on the quantity of your experience and how many lives benefited, though not limited to that. Holding out for a better death, then becomes a form of defiance. So willingness to die sustains your life, which in turn, defines what it means to live well.

II. Living well

“If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.”  — from Hagakure (“Hidden Leaves”).

If the first consequence of dying is a shot at defiance, the second will be freedom. This revolt gives life its value, freedom makes it all worth while — now that we know we can commit suicide or die for others at our choosing. For me, though, knowing whether or not man in general is free is not as important, since I can only experience my own freedom. Similarly, the reasons for dying will differ from individual to individual — the only metrics of value is in how many stand to benefit because of your death.

Now that we’ve defined what it means to die well, living well is easier to define since the point of dying well is instant willingness to die — preferably not for an idea, but for people and experience. I hold factual judgment here as more important than value judgment. Your commitment to this notion will be revealed in how you live your life. The spectrum of activities and work in which this individual will allow in his life will be vast.

Ideally, the person who is ready to die at a moments notice will not concern himself with family (though he can), will not concern himself with permanent fixtures or wasteful hobbies (though he can), nor will he pursue extended relationships (though he can, too). He’ll know that he can better serve the world, thus himself, if he focuses on the things that truly matter given his not so permanent life span. Remember, he will think of himself as either already dead, or will be dead tomorrow.

At the very shallow end of this understanding is the YOLO meme (You Only Live Once), which usually morphs into FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) , especially if one owns a selfie stick. I’m in no position to value judge this act, but the rise of deaths involving people simply attempting to document themselves being part of a YOLO fad, whether it be jumping head first into a shallow pond or falling off a high rise, gives us pause.

So here, being ready to die willingly at any time, the whole notion of a good death can also be mired by our penchant for herd thinking. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the NPA, what happened recently in Kidapawan, and what happened in Mamasapano, I categorize as related to this YOLO/FOMO phenomena, essentially it’s group think. Even when you think you’ve figured out what it means to die a good death, you can still get bogged down by the herd.

This was the same contradiction I found in the military. The best way I think to peel yourself away from the herd, especially once it takes the direction of lemmings, is precisely to spend the bulk of your time cultivating depth of character, living simply and parsimoniously, and lastly balance faith and reason.

You cultivate depth of character most effectively through quantity of experience, and by placing yourself in other peoples’ experience. Living simply and parsimoniously not only allows you more time to do all the worthwhile things in life, but it inoculates you from being so easily bought. Balancing faith and reason doesn’t only apply in religious matters, but also in politics, because this habit once mastered will grant you the ability to see through the fluff.

Dying as defiance is an easy realization since you only have your own mind to contend with, but the freedom associated with that defiance will be in conjunction with others, either those neutral to your existence, ones who stand to oppose and mean you harm, or those in harmony to you. So guard this freedom with all your might.

III. What to do

The third consequence that follows is passion. Now that we’ve wrestled with our minds to come up with a definition for a good death, and are ready to put this freedom to good use, I don’t think we’ll easily fit in a regular 9 to 5 setting, any more than we’ll fit into quiet retirement. It’s time to act, and finally we are ready to oblige LG’s order for a second helping.

Nothing lasts and no victory is final — this is what I learned in the decade my country spent going to war. Value judgment and quality of experience I will leave to others, when it comes to action, we want only quantity of experience. There’s plenty of things to do. Whatever you’re passionate about is worth doing, but since the theme here is Death, let us find the most absurd problem and attempt to conquer it.

We are ready to die and we’ve inoculated ourselves from lemming mentality, now it’s time to conquer something — that’s basically what passion is. Now let’s look for the most absurd problem. The one thing that will destroy us is climate change. It’s already here, so essentially we’ve already committed mass suicide. Nothing we do now will help reverse it. Sea level rise, salt water intrusion, desertification, more drought, bigger storms, and more ice melt — like I said, the most absurd problem.

We slit our wrists the moment we started extracting fossil fuel from the ground. We are still in the process of dying, but within a generation or two, we will see the beginnings of total collapse. Our choice now is to sit at home and watch this collapse live on TV, or we can rage against it. There’s a guy who suggested that we should name these now bigger storms Hurricane Exxon Mobil or Typhoon ARAMCO, a great point. Instead of innocuous names like Sandy and Yolanda, let’s identify the usual suspects; Sinopec and PetroChina are both up there.

karl garcia mentioned that I should cover the commodities market and China’s undermining of the petro-dollar regime. It’s way too complicated for me to wrap my mind around, so we’ll just assume that China is simply attempting to divest from fossil fuel. For a long time now, China’s been burning its own coal to power its breakneck growth. Along with coal, they’ve also been shipping in oil from other regions. Their belligerence in the South China Sea is partly due to their insecurity over the method in which they import oil.

Now China is ready to follow the US model of energy “independence”. The third type of fossil fuel is Natural Gas, and fracking is the new fad. One way the US is alleviating China’s fears in the South China sea is by helping it frack inside China. Many Americans equate President Obama’s presidency to Obamacare. To me, he is the fracking’est president in history, and Hillary Clinton exported fracking to the world via Dept. of State initiatives, the latest of which is with China. So whether it’s carbon dioxide in the long term, or methane in the short term by way of common industrial leaks, we’re dead.

So how do you defy, how do you exercise freedom, how do you convert passion into rage?

The answer to me came while Freddie Aguilar was strumming his ballad during the inauguration. As the camera panned out, I noticed the most colorful attire seated in the front rows were of Sec . Gina Lopez and Sec. Leonor Briones. Both women have an insurmountable task ahead, protecting the environment and educating the Filipino. And in the midst of sea level rise, droughts and big storms in the Philippines, their absurd tasks only pales in comparison to that of Global Warming.

A whopping 75% of power in the Philippines is generated by means of burning coal, oil and natural gas (the other 25% is through hydroelectric and geothermal plants, only 0.5% is by way of clean energy. How to rage constructively is the question, and running amok or going juramentado is not an option. Neither represents a good death nor a life lived well, though they might qualify for passion.

I say revolt by fully divesting from fossil fuels. I wrote this article using my old laptop powered by GoalZero Yeti plus accompanying solar panels and two other separate solar panels my buddy jerry-rigged for me last summer. I leach off my neighbor’s wifi (with their permission of course). And I drive around a 1993 Toyota Corolla I’ve had for 10 years now. So I’m not fully divested. But it’s the goal, and the reason I regularly go out camping, as constant reminder that this goal is do-able.

So this rage will be two pronged, attack from the bottom-up and attack from the top-down.

The bottom-up approach is similar to what I’m doing, but since most in the Philippines already have less to nothing, it’s only a matter of convincing the privileged over there that what the US and China are doing is not progress, it’s the very opposite of progress. Both Sec. Lopez and Sec. Briones can play a role. For example, both can expand Bantay Dagat under their respective offices. Then further expand it to not only cover just the seas but also the mountains. Keep a close eye on those who will do harm, whether by accident or by design, to the rivers and mountains of the Philippines. Consumer grade drones with high definition cameras have done wonders to create awareness and elicit action. Also document sea level rise and salt water intrusion in the Philippines.

This top to bottom approach requires the re-tweaking of national priorities. Sec. Lopez and Sec. Briones can also task their respective offices to play a bigger role in global affairs. With Sec. Lopez focused on the virtues of a clean environment and Sec. Briones encouraging students to really examine what a life lived well entails, the Philippines will have something better to offer China instead of just fracking as solution to the South China sea problem. Once the Philippines can fully document sea level rise, it can render the current spat there as moot. Why invest so much when the seas will just flood these man-made islands? The Philippines will now be in a better position to negotiate, or better yet collaborate. There’s no future in fracking, you’ll only increase methane in the air, thus speeding up Global Warming.

Then give China an offer they can’t refuse — “You guys are dying from polluted air, so are we (so is the rest of the world), why don’t we both fully divest from fossil fuels?” Forget about fracking, forget about man-made islands in the South China sea. The Philippines and China can begin a new relationship in which the Philippines offers them a vision of cleaner air and environment, while China provides the Philippines with the means to harness clean energy. By divesting, China won’t need to undermine the commodities market by subverting the petro-dollar regime, it can simply scale-up production of clean energy technology. I spent close to $500 dollars for all my GoalZero gear, second hand no less, can you imagine if China scaled up? We’d probably be able to get personal clean energy generators for a lot less.

The Philippines can kill the fossil fuel industry by encouraging China’s ability to scale-up production of clean energy technologies — the US seems determined not to lead this charge. China will be the new factory for making clean energy technologies and the Philippines its show room.

I know much of this is wishful thinking. But this is an example of passion focused on a most absurd problem, and deciding to focus your time and effort in conquering it. Remember Global Warming has already killed all of us, we are all dead, we just don’t know it. The flicker is almost about to go out, so . . .

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


China pollution ichef dot bbci dot co dot uk

[Photo source:]


Author’s Note

I attempted here to tie together completely different strings coming from different places, whether it’s loose or a secure knot, I’ll leave to the readers to decide. I know this reads more like a tangled mess than a nice orderly symmetrical square knot. I took heavily from Robert Heinlein’s “Time Enough for Love”, from Albert Camus’ “the Myth of Sisyphus” and from Michel de Montaigne’s “Essays”, particularly his essays “On Dying” and “On Experience”. There’s a glimmer of hope here, no matter how tiny, so I know I’ve failed in the eyes of Albert Camus, but he’s dead. I can only hope I have not failed in the eyes of LG here, and that this article qualifies as concrete, and our small sail boat has not sunk in the middle of the ocean.



217 Responses to “Do not go gentle into that good night . . .”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    We had a discussion about suicide once,and you ask why I said it was selfish.I was speaking for myself and not anyone else,I am bipolar,before knowing that I had attempted you know what,for reasons I could only laugh about now,but could not laugh about back then.

    I said suicide was selfish because it took time for my wife to forgive me.
    You have reasons to say that suicide is the best sacrifice ever and you may cite your reasons,that is perfectly alright.

    Moving on,Nimbyism was my reason for Renewables failure to launch.
    i stick to that stance and will like to hear your take.

    • Joe America says:

      I consider you more educated than the rest of us, because you have gone where few ever tread, and made the climb back out. We are containers, of water and bone and tissue, with sophisticated electronics that sometimes deceive. Depression is a huge issue for a lot of people, and it is an enormous effort to put the beast away. Moreso in the US, I think, than the Philippines, which is odd enough and a separate topic. Therapy and the knowledge and disciplines it can teach us can show us how to climb out. Chemicals to re-wire the electronics and chemistry of the brain. But it’s hard. From within the container, it is hard to see suicide as selfish, but as a way to give others relief (from our misery) as well as ourselves. LCX tends to put up intellectual walls that make it an individual decision that is supposed to be GOOD for others. But if you solicited votes from those others, you’d lose every time. Mercy, compassion, and what others NEED from you would win out every time. Well, 99% of the time, at least. Well, maybe I’m selfish for saying so, but nice to have you teaching us here.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thank you Joe,for me this is more than a discussion forum,it is a place for learning,
        a place for fun,a place I could call home.
        I am trying to understand where LCX is coming from, he may have friends in the service that struggled,or loved ones who decided something that relieved every one’s burden and pressure,I would not know yet until he talks about it some more.I tried reading the link,but I stopped at dementia.I just remembered the Notebook.

        • karl,

          So there’s three places I tend to consider especially when thinking about suicide, my gut, my heart and my mind. Usually my gut wins and all else follow. But sometimes its my mind, all else follows. When it comes to suicide all three are in dissonance (maybe that’s too strong a word, disagreement). This article is my mind trying to think about nothingness.

          My gut doesn’t even consider it, since all it wants is to live (forever if it can). My heart has no business here,

          but since I have buddies who have taken their lives, I have to come to grips with forgiveness— you see I have buddies who didn’t make it out, when you make it out, there’s this rule (or need) that youre suppose to live too for those that didn’t get out (on top of that your family, friends, yourself). My mind tells me they were wrong (they were suppose to hold out more, suffer thru, deal with it, etc. etc.) and my gut also (live on!)… but my heart has not forgiven them, but that’s a personal issue.

          But this article (keep in my mind I’m no professional writer, so I apologize if I didn’t make this clear), in keeping with Camus’ “Sisyphus” is too “a lucid invitation to live and to create…”</b.

          • re NIMBYism, like other ideas I’ve posed here, all this stuff is modular and scalable.

            People who know more about energy grids, trade deals with China, etc. can pitch in re the efficacy of this strategy, my heads below water.

            But when talking about NIMBYism micro- personal scale, this is exactly my point (w/ laser pointer 😉 ), karl … IN YOUR BACKYARD (IMBY), set-up solar panels, hell even exercise bikes hooked up to batteries, but have a means to be off-grid to produce power on your own.

            for example, Joe’s talked about making his backyard concrete (is this for a basket-ball court, Joe?) , can he set-up solar panel instead or on top of the cement? will the costing over there be reasonable? I don’t know if it’s windy in Biliran, but can Joe also have a couple of wind turbines going?

            IMYism is what we are trying to get fashionable in the Philippines, it sets up for energy independence (ie., easier for Filipinos to talk about this new Philippine-China relationship if they actually understand energy independence) and not only that, if total independence is not possible for one reason or another, then just having some means of generating power,

            will be useful in earthquakes, typhoons, etc. so modular and scalable.

            I was talking to DAgimas about cement and concrete, which invariably will lead to AC units, more AC equals more electricity. What are options?

            will Persian wind towers work in the Philippines, good in the desert, but how about tropical climes?

      • “Moreso in the US, I think, than the Philippines, which is odd enough and a separate topic.”

        Joe, let me attempt to lasso this topic in as well…

        this was edgar’s take on dying,

        “Is suicide the preferred method of dying? Personally, I would like to quietly slip away in the night.”

        Each person’s death is their business.

        After some lunch and logging back on here, I realized people may be reading this article like some life coaching article by Tony Robbins or Joel Osteen, it is not. I was simply using Camus’ path towards action, whatever path you guys take toward action, so long as there’s some tree shaking going on is valid.

        Back to the US.

        Many old folks over here die alone, die in their homes or apts. Neighbors who only notice them (both in life and death) when they begin to decompose. they call the police, the police contact the coroners, if there’s a personal doctor, even better, no need for a homicide investigation, but usually since there will be no next of kin, they still go to the coroner and since there’s no priority, can stay there for months.

        Some old folks simply committed suicide, others slipped and fell, others were sick, and died.

        Because they all die quietly, no one knows the extent of this problem, of old people dying alone, quietly.

        Though I agree with edgar on the virtues of dying quietly, sometimes to shed light on a problem that society’s become blind to might as well go out with a bang, with the added benefit of leaving some sort of legacy, something to remember you by, make your death a performing art piece,

        or simply write a blog about it,

        But do not go gentle into that good night 😉

        • andy ibay says:

          clicked heels here is a salute to a magnum of a rare piece . . . .

          Robert Louis Stevenson. 1850–1894


          UNDER the wide and starry sky
          Dig the grave and let me lie:
          Glad did I live and gladly die,
          And I laid me down with a will.

          This be the verse you ‘grave for me: 5
          Here he lies where he long’d to be;
          Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
          And the hunter home from the hill.

          and the soldier with his boots on
          home from his high ground.

          MY EPITAPH
          August 21, 2008 in N J
          (from 5:41 am to 7:29 am)

          by Andy Ibay

          Here lies an artist
          Who never excelled
          Because he liked
          Painting everything
          He fancies.

          Here lies a poet
          Who cannot write a poem
          Because he only understood
          The meter of a carpenter.

          Here lies a dreamer
          Daydreamer par excellence
          Because he was content
          Only in his dream
          He became a real somebody.

          He lies a nobody, a proud man
          Who cared not whether anybody
          Thought he is somebody.

          Here lies Hemingway’s man
          Some man, a man’s man
          Because he loved a woman
          And died married to that woman.

          Here lies a happy man
          Who doesn’t care
          If he’s laid not really here
          Because his ashes now caked
          In an urn somewhere in the house.

          Here lies the bones of an old man
          Who conquered his fears
          And lived long to await death
          Impatient for his rebirth.

          Here lies a bore
          Who never thought he was one
          (Until told by his grandson )
          Because his mind left no room
          For such a human void
          As everybody’s boredom.

          Here lies a dead man
          With a dead name
          Who couldn’t care less
          Who believed one man, one name
          One grain of sand, one ray of light
          is enough to complete essential life
          In God’s eternal world.

          Here lies my remains ,
          mounds of ash or fresh humus
          Of a soul’s ultimate contradictions.


        • Thanks for that, andy!!! 😉

          I love roaming around cemeteries (during the day), this definitely would be an epitaph deserving of a large tomb stone.

    • Thea says:

      For Karl, my heart bleeds, as I have seen suicide thru the eyes of a beloved. My initial revolt was it was selfishness but then it was surpassed by much more higher emotion, love and understanding. To protect and to love above all will make one see the problem in a positive perspective.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I must have over looked this comment of yours Thea. To Love,to understande,to protect the one’s you hold dear……priceless!
        Many thanks for your positive comment.

        There is a reason why I clicked on this article and read the comments.

    • LG says:


      Google Durkheim’s 4 types of suicide (classic) and Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicidal behavior (contemporary).

      There are about 9 theories of suicidal behavior as found in research studies. Each, still going for more empirical support. None is conclusive. Suicide victims can’t confirm their latest reason, that’s why.

      Suicidal behavior has been associated with mania, as well.

      On a personal note, I join the TSH, in celebrating your life🎉🍾❤️🎶🍻🎂💃🏻🍮.

      • LG says:

        Re: third line above in my post.

        Change 10th word (found) to ‘suggested’.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Many thanks LG,will check them out.

        • LG says:

          My pleasure Karl.

          As you love researching and exploring to no end…

          For more data-based info on any mental health subject, dig the website of the US – National Institute of Mental Health…. Which should likely take you to the National Library of Medicine database….PubMed for the million multi-year, peer-reviewed research publications on any health related subject.

          Happy literature review trip😊

  2. Chivas says:

    “When Are We?

    I used to drive my parents and my teachers crazy with impossible-to-answer questions that I wouldn’t leave alone. But if they thought I was annoying them, they had no idea what I was doing to myself. Because the same questions — and much worse — were constantly spinning through my young and ignorant noggin. I mean, almost nothing about life has ever made sense to me. I’ve devoted the majority of the last thirty or so years puzzling for answers, and all I’ve come up with are even more vexing questions.

    Many of the questions that really used to bug me as a kid centered around the concept of death and the afterlife. I hit an age around ten or eleven where I became obsessed with — and mortified by — the idea of dying. I would lie in my bed at night and be so scared of going to sleep. I thought I’d never wake up again. I tried to imagine what death would be like if there was no afterlife, and I saw it as this complete blackness that I couldn’t even see! I was scared stiff. Literally. Lying motionless, clutching my sheets, staring at the ceiling, keeping that encroaching darkness at bay.

    I wrote dismal poetry for years because of this. I thought I was alone in these nightly terrors until I saw What About Bob, where the son has the same questions and fears, and this was extremely and gratifyingly normalizing. The terror has since gone away, but all the questions linger. Among them is this question: If there is an afterlife, which version of us persists forever?

    Because it occurred to me early in life that we aren’t the same person day to day, much less year to year or decade to decade. I think it was watching my grandfather succomb to Alzheimer’s that clued me in. He became a different person right before our eyes. And even as a very young tyke, I was reading about people like Phineas Gage, who suffered a massive brain trauma and saw his personality change overnight. And what about the young who die before they grow into their adult personalities? Or the infants who never say a word or have a coherent thought before some childhood disease or birthing complication claims them? Are we the average of all our selves? Is the version of “us” that we leave behind our prime one, or the fragile form we often inhabit last?

    I had a friend, Anna, whose death shakes me to this very day. She was a senior in high school when she died in a car accident. I was with Anna earlier that day, at the beach, and she was alive, smiling, brilliant, beautiful, with a world of possibilities before her. I’m still very close with her mom, and we talk about Anna all the time. She’s always with us in spirit. And she’s frozen in time at very close to the apex of her potential. She missed out on all that she would accomplish in life, and the family she might’ve had, and the journey she would’ve gone on, but she was the age and inquisitiveness and brightness that I think we tend to see ourselves locked in if life were to continue on forever.

    At the same time Anna died, I watched my grandfather wither, and I wondered which version of him was the real him. At seventeen years of age, we’re trying desperately to find ourselves. Little do we know at that age — but the challenge is never resolved. Our personalities, ambitions, peer groups, careers, and so much more are always on the move. And as we try to locate ourselves in some sort of cartesian grid, now we have a fourth axis on which we slide: The fourth dimension of time.

    It’s not just the global human question of What are we? or the more personal and intimate question of Who are we? or the cosmic query Why are we? it’s also the baffling concept of When are we?

    For many reading this, I am thought of as an author. But I don’t feel like an author. Because that’s such a new part of my life. I’ve been writing for just over five years. I’ve been doing much else for a lot longer than that. Any question of who I am relies on when I am. It also relies on when the people in your life get to know you, and in what context. This is why the bond we have with our family is so unique: they know many of our selves. It’s also the magic of long term relationships, because we get to share quite a few of our selves with the same person, and we get to know quite a few of their selves.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I prepare to move back aboard a boat and live on the sea. Because that is largely who I am. It might not be the person this blog has materialized around, but it’s the person who started this blog. I’ve been a vagabond and a dilettante for most of my life. Amber and I often say that we can do one thing or be in one place for a maximum of five years. Even that is a stretch. Some might see this as a character flaw; I just know it as part of who I am. I want to experience much in life. I think it all goes back to that early fear of death. I haven’t lost that fear so much as coped with it by choosing to live what I consider fully.

    Of course, everyone has a different opinion of what it means to live a full life. These are subjective measures. Personally, I would argue that someone who commits to healing others, as Amber has, or teaching others, as my mom did, or growing crops, as my father did, live a fuller and more meaningful life than I ever will. My life has been about the fear of sitting still. Perhaps that’s a bad thing. I would hate to inspire more of it, but I will say to any who dream of breaking out of their routines but aren’t sure how or when the time is right: The time is always right.

    It doesn’t have to be anything as drastic as living on a boat, something I first chose to do when I was twenty years old. It might be simply to start exercising more. Or to write that novel you’ve always dreamed of. Or to take that job opportunity. Or to simply quit the job that makes you miserable and move to another state, not scared of the unknown but eager for new opportunities. My brother did this, and it was petrifying to watch, and now he’s happier than he’s ever been. My sister continues to amaze me with her bold life choices and her willingness to take big chances. It’s the secret to not having regrets. And the more we move, the more we might get confused by When we are. And I think this confusion can be a very good thing.

    The worst part of the illusion of permanence of self is that it traps us into thinking we’re destined to be a certain way. The memory of our former selves can be ruinous. Not because there was anything wrong with our former selves, but because that memory masquerades as some rigid reality, when it was more of a flowing illusion. Self-improvement and personal growth are made more difficult when we’re resigned to being who we recall. And it might be a case of fibbing to ourselves, but there’s something advantageous to remembering the best parts of our pasts and aiming to emulate that, and realizing that the worst parts of our pasts are things we can strive to change. That wasn’t who we are. It was just one of many when we were.

    And how do we know who we can be if we don’t sample much of what life has to offer? Again, this might mean nothing more than taking a wide variety of college courses with our minds open to what our major might be. Or skipping spring break and spending that week volunteering in a different state. Or getting our of our homes on the weekends and being a tourists somewhere an hour’s drive away. Or just walking the dog a direction we never go, giving both our noses something new to sniff. It can be anything. A return to a former passion or a striving for a new one.

    As I sit here in South Africa, working on the boat that will be my future home, there’s a mix of both: A return to a former way of life, but also an urge to see beyond the horizon. The people who have known me the longest and know me best are less surprised about me moving on board a boat than I imagine they were about me living on land for so long. Those who got to know me through my writing think I’m doing something crazy. I thought the last five years of my life was the crazy bit. It’ll be interesting to see what the combination looks like, as I plan to keep on writing.

    I can also remember friends and family members always commenting on how crazy they thought my life was, taking off on boats to distant islands, or driving across the country, or working some weird job, and for a while there I thought that maybe I was just lucky to have these opportunities come to me. But when I looked more closely, I saw wild and varied opportunities were there for most people, but it just felt safer and easier for them to decline. Not me. I always said “yes.” To just about anything.

    This doesn’t make me brave, by the way. I’m a chickenshit. I’m a coward. I’m terrified of lost opportunities. I’m terrified of a life squandered. I quake with the thought of routines, where day piles upon day until they are all remembered as a single average of themselves, none of them standing out, so that our seventy years on Earth feels more like some vague twenty four hours. This is my fear. It is not courage. I don’t jump off cliffs because the fall is nothing to me; I jump because I feel an encroaching flame at my back. I jump, because to stay feels like certain death.

    Here’s a picture of my friend Douglas jumping off a literal cliff. We were on a little island in the middle of nowhere, and we both got there by leaving our jobs in an instant when a boat passed through town on the way to China. We were young, without the families we have now, but we were both moving forward in our careers with opportunities just ahead, opportunities that were created by and promised us more routine. It was crazy to jump on this boat. No pay. No certain future. A very difficult decision. We never made it to China, as a dozen things went wrong along the way. Instead, we ended up marooned in paradise, where we enjoyed what remains some of the best weeks of our short lives, and we wouldn’t change a thing. I’m glad we jumped. And I’m glad we didn’t stay. A fire crackles at my back, and I move, terrified, leaping, plummeting, with a smile on my face. ” –

    • karlgarcia says:

      I appreciate all the stuff you share from the Dilbert principle,To the carpet bombing Sodom and Gommorah,and the IT stuff you teach us.Keep it coming.

      • Chivas says:

        Thank you, Karl. I think it’s more of me thanking the Society for its “no-nonsense” ethos.

        Quality of information here is fashion-driven to a degree that would embarrass haute couture designers from New York to Paris. Cheers 🙂

    • chempo says:

      Thank you Chivas, for sharing your wonderful ways.
      I had wanted to respond to Lance in a simple line, but you filled up in wonderful ways what I would have left unsaid.
      My respond to Lance is I avoid thinking about Death. Life is short and there will be lots of time to think about death when lying in eternal repose.
      Lance talks about what is a full life. Your answer is just do it.
      “…any who dream of breaking out of their routines but aren’t sure how or when the time is right: The time is always right.”
      You are absolutely right. Most of us are caught in our own ‘economic trap’, a prison that we cannot get out. Some are caught in a comfort zone that they can’t get out. Some has economic freedom, but fear the unknowns.
      Like you, I dreamt of breaking out in my younger days. But economic trap, comfort zone, and fear kept me doing the dreaded routines for years. 9-5 (++ OTs) routines jaded me for years. Long after the initial challenges of climbing the corporate ladder faded, I saw the youthful dreams of doing things and going places on a whims flickering away. And that panicked me. Surely life can’t be just the 9-5, a house, a car, family. My simple philosophy of life is this — at the end of our days, what we have achieved means nothing. We are only left with memories, so we need to live a life that will fill us with great memories from life experiences. What memories can we possibly have if we spend 50 years doing the 9-5 routines, that’s what troubled me the most.So better late than never I ‘jumped ship’. Tried to do some entrepreneurial stuff, tried direct sales, make stuff, go places like standing on the cold shores of Lock Ness hoping to see the monster, or sitting on the steps of Borobudor temple watching the sun rise and seeping in the aura of ancient Buddhist Indonesia. By any means of economic measurement of success, I did’nt amount to much compared with my peers. But the memories inside of me, that’s my treasure trove.

      • “I did’nt amount to much compared with my peers. But the memories inside of me, that’s my treasure trove.”

        I agree w/ this. Experience is the only thing you really can control… philosophizing is one think, but doing it usually encourages doing more of it.

        These are the people I envision visiting Mindanao… Chivas, have you ever been to Mindanao? What would get you to go there? What are your thoughts on eco-tourism? How do you live day to day, and is that something you can teach Filipinos? Can you convince more Filipinos to leave their 9 to 5’ers?

        There’s this Grogan guy (there’s two of them, I forgot the other guy’s name), though I’ve never read this book, seems to be doing FREE talks everywhere across the Philippines, assuming Chivas = Hugh Howey , since you’ve written books, might be worth a look 😉

      • chemp,

        Since we are talking about a kind of entrepreneurship based on the spirit of adventure, or just divesting from the concept of a 9 to 5, can this me done in Mindanao? If you’re not too familiar with Mindanao, how about to the north and south of Manila?

        I didn’t yet check out the airbnb listings over there, but you I caught your comment re pricing, doesn’t that then pose an opportunity to would be bed and breakfast entrepreneurs to provide more cost effective options?

        Like I’ve said before the most beautiful little humble hut I came across in the Philippines, was of a modest (read poor) family, but she lived in a beautiful location and she beautified her home with many Philippine orchids… I’ll walk to fetch water, collect firewood and shit into the ground, just to enjoy such serenity. 😉

        • chempo says:

          BNB — the very essence of bnb is that it is’nt actually a business. It’s some folks with an extra room letting it out for some extra cash, and in the process sharing with their guest some local cultures, food and hospitality. Knowing Philippines, if this were to be really officially promoted, they will need firstly, an enabling law through Congress, then each household will need to register a TIN number to collect VAT and pay taxes, they will need to get Bureau of Internal Revenue for a permit to go to an accredited printer to print official receipts, maybe they will need to purchase a cash register.
          So if anyone want to do this, it will be in the underground economy.
          If you were to construct a few units of lodgings on your spacious lot, that would not be bnb but resort, hostel, pensionhouse business.

          Regarding your little hut — I guess there are some visitors like you, those who like to really go native for a while. I have heard, but never met anyone in this category. No idea how big this market segment is.

          I dont really have any good knowledge of the consumer market in Philippines, but just from observation, I think there are 3 basic blockages for the very very small guys (I assume this is where your heart lies) to try to ‘break-out’ and set up shop. These are :
          1. Finance — These people have no access to finance. The established financial institutions do not service this segment. Their only resort is the Bombays, or funders recommended by friends of friends. This source of finance come with exhorbitant rates. Miss a couple of payments and you’re in trouble, forever playing catching up with the back-payments. There are some micro-financing providers, but I think it’s still not that attractive enough. The only means these guys can break out is if they have a smart OFW remitting home regularly.
          2. Distribution channel — the usual producer/manufacturer-distributor-stockist-wholesaler chanels seem to ignore the small guys. For example, nobody is serving the thousands of sari-sari stores. These store-holders purchase in Binondo or SM at retail prices, break bulk, and sell at a higher price. (Not too long ago, a smart young guy set up a sort of cooperative for sari-sari stores to do block purchasing and reduce their cost).
          3. Govt intervention — There is hardly any pro-small business initiatives on the part of the govt. The govt leaves everything to the free market. Govt does not provide any infra-structure. Food business is something that these small guys can get into. But everything is free-enterprise, so there is no cheap rentals for them. Can any of these guys open a stall in SM foodcourt? No way. Where I stay in Makati — only roadside stalls (at relatively high rentals) are leased by the city. There are no govt provided foodcourts at cheaper rental rates.

          • Good stuff, chemp.

            I know that Airbnb is getting sued by big and small hotels in San Fran, and Uber is being sued similarly by taxi companies in Seattle. This is kinda like Napster against the music labels, the law’s still trying to define what this business is, is it a hotel/business or simply a way to share your house? The best way for the gov’t to serve this Airbnb model in Mindanao is to offer guidance, via Negosyo Center or DENR, but no taxation, overlook it like the Philippines overlooks prostitution and bars. The main thing is to get visitors to come.

            1. There’s no micro-finance via banks there? How about going the barangay level route, thru grants, ie. “Our barangay is trying to leverage Airbnb as an online market place to invite tourists, this project intends to promote eco-tourism and will alleviate poverty, etc. etc.” (grant proposal).

            2. Since this is Airbnb, how does it require a distribution channel? Can you explain this more? Let’s assume it’s a humble house with 2 empty rooms not in use, there’s a bed made of bamboo, plastic drawers available, etc. No need for finance, everything’s there, just need tourists to see the rooms— how the tourist gets there, they do on their own, same with their eating plans.

            3. The foodcourts were definitely my favorite part of Singapore, it’s funny too how people have favorite stalls, a long line there, but the stall across serving the same thing, no lines at all. LOL! But the way I’m imagining this Airbnb to play out is that, they don’t really have to construct anything, they’re just using extra space, and since they are renting extra space, they won’t have to serve food (though they can). the tourist just needs a place to crash for a day or month.

    • edgar lores says:


      From what I can see, a life well lived.

    • Just to clarify, Hugh Howey = Chivas?

      • Chivas says:

        I’m not Hugh Howey. I just pasted his post because he’s one of the few authors you’ll read that is so open-minded on idea sharing when done right. You can check more of him here.

  3. Bert says:

    So this is Lance’s article and not Joe’s. I had no idea until I read karl’s comments.

    Anyway, about death and life…what’s all the fuss about? That’s life…and death is bound to happen anyway sooner or later. So what? Blame evolution…or blame God but, what for? Nobody can do anything about it, I mean I can’t do anything about my father and my mother wanting to do something and created me, advertently or inadvertently, isn’t that right? So better to live life as it is and enjoy it, better to enjoy it than sulking from the inevitable.

    As to suicide, well, as one famous comedian who is now deceased said, “That’s a lot of nonsense!”. I agree.

    As to China’s actions in the Atlantic Ocean and other oceans, well, I think it has nothing to do with the fear of what climate change can do to their illegally reclaimed land from the sea but purely in pursuit of their aim for world domination.

    • Joe America says:

      I apologize for that, Bert, and especially to LCX, for not putting in the authorship at the beginning of the blog when I loaded it into Word Press. I’ve corrected that and now shall go off to eat my humble pie, or whatever one dines on when one is deep into embarrassment.

      • No worries, Joe… I’m a fan of the Economist (no mention of authors) 😉 .

        Bert, that’s a valid way of looking at it, and I don’t expect people to start thinking about death,

        but my point re climate change, is that it’s a bigger issue than what’s going on in the South China seas… I need you to pan out further, use Google maps, there’s this really cool feature now when you pan the farthest out, you’re in outer space! 😉

        better yet, just focus on the strategy, can it be done? If not, why not?

  4. Francis says:

    Enlightening article. Enlightening discussion.

    That’s the sort of sincerity that this morally relativistic and pessimistic world needs. Quite rare nowadays. People always assuming agendas and whatnot. People always assuming fakery and whatnot—as if that renders the world so irreversibly damned.

    No one notices anymore that fakery is authentic—and very much human—in its own way.

    • Francis, there’s no fakery when it comes to dying— you can fake how you live even what you do, but everything catches up with you in death… hence live has to lived with death in mind. 😉

  5. Joe! i will read this again – when I’m no longer UDI (under d influence) – as how one dies best resonates much in me of senior years – but, more so for the idea that Philippines and China, partnering, can save world from itself! i was for US and UN ganging up on China to police it to behaving, but your tack here – give China an offer they can’t refuse — “You guys are dying from polluted air, so are we (so is the rest of the world), why don’t we both fully divest from fossil fuels?” Forget about fracking, forget about man-made islands in the South China sea. The Philippines and China can begin a new relationship in which the Philippines offers them a vision of cleaner air and environment, while China provides the Philippines with the means to harness clean energy” – Joe! This is a real workable solution! There doesn’t have to be “cradle of war” here in these South West China-Philippines Seas! Just much bigger business and better well-being for all the world! This is pure genius proposition! i will work on this… sources in China already have quoted the price of solar panels down to the ideal everybody-affordable US$0.50/watt, direct buy. So, please, everybody, please, don’t be fighting! It’ll just ruin everything!

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, well, Lance Corporal X will appreciate your endorsement, joey. He’s on US time so may get to you after you sober up. 🙂 🙂

      • Joey, you got the article! I wrote it drunk too, so maybe one has to read it drunk, LOL!

        Now let’s get down to business, which companies are selling solar panels there, how good are they? how about batteries? etc.? Can individuals in the Philippines get a hold of solar panels, for example Joe’s think about cementing his backyard, is it feasible for him to set-up solar panels, to capture light as well as for shade?

        Over here there’s a bunch of solar panels being put up in houses, all Made in China, not too sure how much, but it’s usually plugged straight into the grid. I think its better as an off-grid set up. What other ideas do you have re green energy that can be done in the Philippines?

        Can this happen in Mindanao?

        • Lance! Joe! Thank you for minding me! Your acknowledgement honors. Until now, though, while I enjoy the conversation, I normally won’t say anything as I hesitate to get involved, or be drawn into this level of discussion here. But, my fear of WW3 wiping out all of mankind has me supportive of initiatives to avert it, so that your idea of engagement, rather than conflict with China meshes with me – not because I’m Chinaman-lapper but, because maybe I just might have a couple things to contribute to our survival after all.

          I’ve gone through what’s been stated here up to this point (especially finding the being-ready-to-die-anytime topic deeply enlightening) but, since you’re also asking for it – re green – so, I think I’d rather sock it to you where that is concerned, instead!

          You know, I had bursts of inspiration that animated me into documenting ideas, followed by bouts with depression when I saw how nothing happened after, and now you ask me if I have any?

          Let me see… you say, In My BY (by the way, what’s N?), to set-up a means to be off-grid to produce power on my own, then, we can get down to business?

          Well, actually, I’ve not built anything of the sort as I’m unable to for continued lack of needed resources at the moment, but design ideas I have a few I would like to interest you with…

          First, however, here’s the link to solar panel producer in China who’s quoted, March 2016, at $0.52/watt (or $130/250-watt panel) for a minimum order of 200 units 250-watt panels:

          Looking forward to your reply.Thank you.
          Best Regards
          Senoir Salesman from Exportation Dpt.
          Email :;
          Skye : mayeryu1001;
          Mobile : 0086-15824165098;
          Add.: No. 468, TiyuchangRd, Zhejiang , China;

          Of course, you know that, presently, an alibaba solar panel search will yield you this:

          wherein prices are even lower than $0.50/watt!

          As for batteries and the rest of the system, I believe they likewise are in the product line.

          I don’t know that the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone bars Filipinos from buying directly from China, but it’s obvious, greedy or not, there are big business opportunities there, as the last time I received a quotation from a local supplier, it was a rip-off $3.50/watt Made in China!

          Some company applying Solar City’s business model here in Philippines is what I hope would happen as it would be such a good thing for many folks like me who want to go off-grid.

          Anyway, with that aside, so, if I might give you the links to some of my “published” works, then, in the modular and scalable categories you stated, and I would be privileged to have your time:

          And what shall i gain by sharing you these? Well, as a nobody, I just want to be useful, too, really, and as you want green – so, here’s greens no one else has, yet, because if we’re the ones producing… and world gets greener – is all! hehe 🙂

          my best regards, everyone…

          • Joe America says:

            Joey, for your future info, more than two links puts a link into moderation.

            Thanks for the great resources. I’m sure people will find them useful.

          • NIMBYism = Not In My BackYard mentality,

            which I tend to agree, in Tehachapi where a bunch of these wind turbines are placed, residents are now complaining about having too many wind turbines , environmentalist are concerned that they are killing off certain birds.

            so NIMBYism is really more about bigger enterprise, bigger power plants being undertaken, which are unpopular because no one wants it in their backyards.

            But my concern is more on people realizing the process of generating energy, if they simply flick on a switch and light magically appears, and don’t think about the ramification of that act, then how will they think about global warming or conservation?

            (similarly, they’ll not know how a sewage system works, if they simply flush and walk out; same with a septic tank system, goes into the ground and forget about it… have you heard of humanure? watch, , to understand how a system works, you have to be hands on, so that’s the point of IMBY 😉 )

            so IMBY is my response to NIMBY, hook up solar panels, set up wind turbines, hell even bicycles that generate electricity, then compare that to say nuke energy and then to fossil-fuel burning energy (coal, oil & natural gas).

            I’m really curious how these designs can translate to energy, your Windgen Moves, looks like it can be set-up on a Persian wind tower (see above), both capturing wind to cool the inside as well as turn to generate electricity.

            So can you describe more how these designs can work, Joey?

        • Joey!!! these are awesome designs, I’m no engineer, more like a frustrated artist, so from a simple eloquence perspective, I like ’em! Sleek and simple.

          So I looked up Jaro and there’s two , there’s a Jaro as a district in Iloilo city and another Jaro a municipality… if you’re in the municipality close to Roxas City, I was wondering if you would know of Roxas foundation, and if they fund (or can find funding for) efforts like yours and others who want to grow the anti-fossil fuel movement in the Philippines.

          As for sharing, I think patents are obsolete (unless you have something really proprietary like Alien technology 😉 ), more and more it’s about using the internet to share. Are you familiar with this kid, from Mexico, who was out of work, so he spent his days tinkering with Arduino and his Nintendo joystick, he shared his ideas on line and caught the attention of one Chris Anderson (of Wired magazine) who was also playing around with drone helicopters with his kids, trying to make it better and easier to fly,

          after much collaborating online, Chris Anderson decides they have a marketable product, stands up a company and appoints this Mexican kid as CEO and both founded 3D Robotics, Inc., read the rest here (it’s a beautiful story I hope more young Filipinos read, put your work out there and start making stuff, designing to micro-manufacturing)…

          By JACK NICAS
          April 8, 2015 12:51 p.m. ET

          SAN DIEGO—The consumer-drone revolution can be traced back eight years ago, to a 20-year-old Mexican immigrant in Riverside, Calif., tinkering with a toy model helicopter.

          Jordi Muñoz Bardales, newly arrived from Ensenada, Mexico, was awaiting his U.S. green card when he broke open his Nintendo Wii controller, removed its sensors and connected them to an $18 microcontroller—a tiny computer on a microchip—that he programmed to stabilize his toy copter. For decades, model aircraft had been notoriously difficult to pilot; Mr. Muñoz had built a device almost anyone could fly.

          “I didn’t even know the word drone,” Mr. Muñoz says. “I called it a robotics helicopter.”

          He then tried to sell his used Wii for $350 on a programmers’ forum to raise money for his next project, a model plane that could fly itself. His online posts, including videos and code he wrote, had earned him a prominent fan: Chris Anderson, then editor of Wired magazine and a leading advocate of the budding drone movement. Mr. Anderson sent Mr. Muñoz a $500 check, no strings attached.

          By 2009, Mr. Muñoz had built a so-called autopilot system, the computer brains behind consumer drones. Later that year, he and Mr. Anderson founded 3D Robotics Inc., now the biggest consumer-drone maker in the U.S., with tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue, 300 employees and more than $100 million in venture capital.

          The cofounders face a set of fierce rivals. Paris-based Parrot SA has captured the lower end of the market with camera drones that retail between $100 and $500. The industry juggernaut is SZ DJI Technology Co., a Chinese company that makes the world’s most popular camera drones, priced around $1,000.

    • Andres IV says:

      But the problem is, sharing of EEZ is unconstitutional according to Carpio. Here.

  6. edgar lores says:

    1. A moving and profound meditation on dying well, living well and doing well.

    2. Dying and dying well is a foremost concern in Buddhism. In confronting our impermanence, we are forced to examine our lives and thereby arrive at the question of how to live well.

    2.1. For me, an acknowledgement of death does not result in defiance. It results in an acceptance of the gift of life. This acceptance fills me with an almost constant awareness of the miracles surrounding me and an enduring gratitude.

    2.2. Is suicide the preferred method of dying? Personally, I would like to quietly slip away in the night. Sacrificing our lives for others in full awareness and not in servility would be the height of altruism. And, yes, euthanasia is an acceptable option rather than suffering the ravages of old age… especially if one is visited by dementia. To choose death when one is still fully conscious is the last freedom. If we have lived a dignified life, we should be able to die with and in dignity.

    2.2.1. What is often not acknowledged is that the aged yearn for death as much as the youth yearn for life.

    2.3. However, most of the time we are not given the choice of when and how to die, of “holding out for a better death.” What we are given is the choice of living a better life. We have this freedom of choice, whether or not we live in a revolt against death.

    2.3.1. Freedom may, indeed, be a consequence of the acknowledgement of death. More often than not, freedom is simply a consequence of consciousness.

    3. There are myriad of answers to living well.

    3.1. For me, living well is realizing our potential as individuals, developing our skills, and using those skills to contribute to society at large. Our skills may be that of an accountant, an executive, a singer, a gardener, or a chef.

    3.2. Each man will have his own answer. Each man is responsible for his answer.

    3.2.1. Lifting wallets from pockets is a skill and may contribute to one’s welfare, but does it contribute to the welfare of society?

    4. Passion comes with the exercise of freedom. Where it comes from is both innate and acquired. We make a choice, and we are moved to that choice by passion – or not. Sometimes it is really a case of choosing the lesser evil. Sometimes we are torn between two edible passions.

    4.1. If we are lucky, we live our passion, and our passion is our life.

    5. The gateway of birth brings us into the light of earthly day. Who knows that death is not another gateway… leading us to a better realm?

    • Thanks, edgar.

      Both de Montaigne and Camus wrote very similar stuff and both lived thru wars… I read Camus first a couple of years back, then found out that he was a fan of de Montaigne so read him as well. So my view of de Montaigne when I read his Essays tend to be thru Camus’ eyes.

      His premise which he started in the Stranger, to Sisyphus, to the Rebel, was always what if there are no such principles (he’s like you he lived his principles, but in his works, he poses the question, what if there are no principles?).

      So basically that vector you gave us in Judgmental Disability, my reaction was (this article) what if there is no land mass found at the end of that vector, and all we really have is that sail boat/ship.

      Whittled down it goes back to this, Don’t harm me and I won’t harm you; But if you harm me, I will harm you (harm here doesn’t have to be physical, force on force, Gandhi ‘harmed’ the UK). Call it the law of nature, or the essence of life, but that is the basic “principle”.

  7. josephivo says:

    Seldom thought of dead as it was something too far in the future. Now I never thing of dead because it is a non-issue. Let me explain.

    First, rationally. Happiness has two distinct faces. The now, the feeling good in the moment is one and the looking back with satisfaction is the other. Most people value the second more. Thus the ultimate happiness is dying consciously, with a deep satisfied feeling. Not unnoticed in one’s sleep or in a major accident.

    Second, emotionally. As an expert through experience I can testify. Long time ago I died twice in the same night, a fantastic cardiologist in Makati could keep my brain oxygenated and my heart beating again. I remember as yesterday the moments just before the light was turned off. One was immense shame because I just covered a nurse all in white with my dreadful vomit, the other was a feeling of satisfaction with all the blessing I was fortunate to have received. The pain was just a background issue, knowing it would stop soon, even the shame was secondary, the warm feeling of past love, all the past positive challenges, all the exciting experiences, it was overwhelming… And then waking up as if nothing had happened, tears in my eyes, unable to explain, the care of the nurses, the happiness of friends seeing me alive.

    Two things are needed to make from dying the happiest moment of live and both were a gift of my parents I guess:
    – Being “grounded”, not having to question oneself all the time, some confidence in what one beliefs, or even more, a need to preach it.
    – Curiosity. Why is this? What will happen tomorrow? Should I pull this string or will it undo the whole fabric?

    Suicide? Active suicide would be very difficult because of my curiosity. What might happen tomorrow? Passive suicide by neglecting survival routines as healthy eating, taking medicine in time, exercise, stop social interactions… this might be worth testing when all other options look less interesting.

    • Passive suicide was the macro-suicide I was trying to get at, josephivo (man, you lived in the middle of the Congo and you’ve died twice in Makati, you’ve definitely lived a life to be envied! 😉 )

      I think this is what we’re doing right now, from the Chinese not being able to see the sun, to us over here not minding tons of methane being spewed in the air, to the shabu epidemic in the Philippines.

      There is a passive society-wide suicide of sorts going on, as a libertarian at heart, I don’t care what other people do with their lives, but when someone else’s continuous visit to Wal-mart to buy superfluous items, or a company’s need to drill, affects my enjoyment of live, I cannot (should not, will not) resort to passive suicide.

      That’s the moral dilemma here. What to do?

  8. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    One of the life-changing events I have gone through is when I read Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World. One line in the book changed me forever, and made me what I am today: “I will live this day as if it is my last.” I was maybe 32 years old then, and I’m double that age now. I can safely say that I have lived by that credo. I think of death all the time. Not in morbid fashion, but like a graduation, a move to a better place. But I have to earn the distinction. Passion, direction, consistency, habit, destiny. It’s half past midnight of July 15, and it’s a good time to look back and see how far I have traveled since I read Og Mandino’s line. It’s a good life. Climate change brings me down, but I can only do so much. The God I worship (Roman Catholic) comes in handy at times like these. He is omniscient and omnipotent, meaning he hears even my prayers which are too presumptuous to even say, and he is able to do anything. So I walk the earth confident that as long as I earn my death and stay close to God, the people I love and I will be all right. Thanks, Lance for the thoughts.

    • Wil,

      I’ve not heard of Og Mandino, (I thought it was some Filipino guy, but upon Googling, he’s American! and I’ve never heard of him… ) I’ll definitely check out that book, thanks!

      Also re “I will live this day as if it is my last”, I know it’s somewhat cliche now these days, with YOLO in social media, etc. but what does this phrase entail for you?

      I don’t know if you caught this talk me and Joe had,

      I don’t have much, so I don’t have to write an actual will, but I have instructions I’ve given to my family (open when dead envelopes) detailing certain scenarios and instructions for each, ie. if I’m hit by a car, and comatose w/ permanent injuries, pull the plug… that type of stuff.

      “in sha’allah” is this phrase that Arabs love to say, basically this ‘if God will’s it’, the opposite of this is ‘ma sha allah’ , which is ‘God has willed it’/’this is God’s will’. I sensed the same with Filipinos, both Christians, Muslims, and no-religions,

      and one thing I noticed (related to the above mindset) was that Filipinos usually grow old, especially those with no means, and end up laying in living repose in their kin’s house, usually a dark room, until they eventually fade away. It would be great if fading away didn’t entail any pain, but usually

      there’s a great deal of pain, so the family ends up buying expensive pain killers, and other medical paraphernalia for hospice care, and money goes down the drain.

      My question to you is , how can “I will live this day as if it is my last” be utilized to help in this? Are you familiar with the prepper mindset?

  9. NHerrera says:


    By way of context, regarding the third part of your blog posting, the carbon emission of these 8 group of countries are:

    ……Populous countries…….Pop mil…….tonnes/cap……B tonnes
    1 China……………………….1,376………..4.9…………………..6.7
    2 India…………………………1,311………..1.4…………………..1.8
    3 United States……………….322……….19.3………………….6.2
    4 Indonesia…………………….258…………1.8………………….0.5
    5 Brazil…………………………..208…………1.9………………….0.4
    6 Russia…………………………143………..11.6…………………1.7
    7 Mexico…………………………127…………4.4………………….0.6
    8 European Union…………….507…………8.1…………………4.1

    The total carbon emission in Billon tonnes (reference 2008 for carbon emission per capita and reference 2015 for population) in that group of 8 countries, including the EU is 22B tonnes and the world total is 35B tonnes. Thus the list above constitutes about two-thirds of the total world carbon emission. (World pop is 7,349 million and world carbon emission per capita is 4.7)

    By contrast the Philippines with a carbon emission in tonnes per capita of 0.8 and population of 0.1B generates 0.08 B tonnes — only 0.2% of the world total, or 1.2% of China’s.

    My point — the Philippine burden to Global Warming is minuscule. I do not say we should not advocate lessening the carbon emission from the Phlippines, in fact, we, not being a big contributor to Global Warming, can be a good advocate for the effort. But let us be mindful of the numerical context.

    • NHerrera says:

      Much thanks too for the life and death thoughts — yours and the comments of our thoughtful contributors on the matter of life and death: an important topic, makes a lot of things in this harried world insignificant when we ask ourselves what really matters.

      • “in fact, we, not being a big contributor to Global Warming, can be a good advocate for the effort.”

        Thanks, NHerrera!

        That’s exactly the fact that I want to leverage here, hence the Costa Rican model of eco-tourism. Don’t go down the same path China and India has taken, go the opposite way and figure out how you guys can make this fact advantageous.

        In terms of JRR Tolkien books, the Philippines is the Shire. if Indonesia has decided to cut all their forests down ala Orcs, let the Hobbits (Filipinos) ally with Elves, though I’d like to think it’s Americans, it’s not… Elves are Chinese, Filipinos, Americans, etc. that understand where all this oil burning and de-forestation is going,

        and the assumption in this article is that mainland Chinese especially in big cities are starting to become Elven-like in their appreciation for nature/clean air, etc. one only has to study the art movement in China, they are more environmentalists now than us over here.

        And that’s a good thing. How can the Shire (green, beautiful and filled with happy people), inspire China, inspire Asia, and the rest of the World? That’s the question posed in this article, very much in the same theme as josephivo‘s

    • Sup says:

      ”the Philippine burden to Global Warming is minuscule.”

      Because all basura end up in the canal, after a typhoon (like you flush a toilet) it ends up in the ocean and float all over the world, problem solved for the Philippines..
      You don’t need a boat to go from Mariveles to Manila, just walk over the plastic… 🙂

  10. karlgarcia says:

    Some good news,but that does not mean that we should not worry about climate change.

    Ozone layer is healing
    Posted Jul 12, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    In a rare piece of good news, scientists have announced that the “ozone hole” in Earth’s atmosphere is shrinking. The gradual disappearance of the planet’s ozone layer — which protects us from harmful radiation from the sun — was first noticed by researchers in the 1970s. Public alarm ultimately moved the world to action.

    Ordinarily, a layer of ozone high in the stratosphere shields life from damaging ultraviolet rays. Not long after scientists noted that it was thinning, they determined that the use of chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was the cause. At the time, CFCs were commonly used in aerosols and refrigerants.

    The world’s nations gathered in 1987 to sign the Montreal Protocol, which ordered the phaseout of many ozone-depleting chemicals. Companies soon developed alternatives.

    The term “ozone hole” is applied to areas of the stratosphere where ozone is completely destroyed. It is generally affected by the season, and factors such as volcanic eruptions. Because conditions over Antarctica are especially conducive to destruction, depletion there has been closely watched.

    In a study published in the journal Science on June 30, researchers noted that the hole over Antarctica, which tends to peak in October, has shrunk. They found that ozone-depleted areas over the continent diminished by some 1.5 million square miles between 2000 and 2015.

    While the mending process was always expected to be slow, and has been, these findings demonstrate that policy can be effective at the level of planetary protection. Thanks to human ingenuity and commitment, damage caused by humans can be reversed.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    Maybe sucking CO2 out of the air may help solve climate change

    Graciela Chichilnisky believes her company has developed a groundbreaking technology not just to capture CO2, but to tap a trillion-dollar market and sell it. Chichilnisky is the CEO and co-founder of Global Thermostat, which she describes as “a company that can be profitable and can simultaneously resolve the climate issue and the problem of global poverty.” Fast Company recently named it one of the top 10 most innovative energy companies in the world.

    The company hopes to achieve its mission by leveraging new technology with market-based thinking. The idea is pretty straightforward: Remove CO2, one of the biggest contributors to climate change, from the air and then sell it to companies that use CO2 in their products or operations. Take a liability and make it an asset.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    There is a way to clean the Pacific garbage patch.

    June 3, 2014, New York – The Ocean Cleanup, founded by Dutchman Boyan Slat, has unveiled its feasibility report today, concluding that its concept is a viable method to clean the oceans from plastic. The report is the result of more than a year of extensive scientific research in engineering, oceanography, ecology, maritime law, finance and recycling. The feasibility study was financially supported by crowd funding and professional in kind contributions. The research was done by an international team of over 100 experts, predominantly on a voluntary basis. The next step, building and testing large-scale operational pilots, will be initiated as soon as sufficient funding has been raised.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    Soon there will be life after brain death

    Scientists will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques which have been shown to bring patients out of comas.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    NIMBYISM again must be the reason why the 10 planned Materials Recovery Facilities for Pasig River Cleanup was not completed.The 24 Recycling machines ended up wasted.

  15. LG says:


    In Philo 101, my middle eastern (by ethnicity) but Filipino (by residence) professor gave me a 2.5. That tells you that philosophy is not my strong suit, though I like reading some pocketbooks on it.

    The first 2 sections of your essay are nice reads for alternate answers to the deep questions on good death, put ahead of (and) good life. I can see the marines educate its force well, or gives you good time between shifts or deployments to read and reflect on such matters to serve better, may be?

    It’s the third section, to me, that supplies doable ‘concretes’. How to reduce the deathatogenic (just invented the word) sequela of mass judgmental disability of the world…global warming.

    Thanks Lance👍

    • LG,

      LOL! I never had the pleasure of such an intellectual backhand… my readings of philosophy comes from books recommended by friends, the library and google (no one gets to tell me it’s not my strong suit 😉 ).

      What was your professor’s name, I remember Ireneo mentioning a Syrian Christian that was suppose to be a popular teacher there, wonder if that’s the same guy.

      I’d say it’s both indoctrination and free time. But this is a popular quote in the military,

      I’m glad you found it concrete.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Off topic


    Congressman Biazon files resolution asking Congress to give recognition to former President Benigno Aquino III and the team of Philippine officials in the arbitration case against China for “successfully defending” the case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) based in The Hague, Netherlands.

    “They deserve the highest accolades and gratitude of a thankful nation for the patriotism and nationalism which they displayed as they stood up for the rights and interests of the Filipino people in the defense of the Philippine case,” Biazon said in his two-page resolution.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Re Notes from the Editor:

    It’s not that I like nagging people or kicking out trolls . . . it’s just that I like a really high quality product that reflects well on all of us.

    It’s how a I like my coffee too in the morning, Joe.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    Some rants.

    We need to proceed with external defence modernization. We still need to contribute to help those who helped us,are helping us and will help us.

    I am not against bilateral talks,but we must know how to use all the advantages we have. Call it diplomatic judo if you will.

    I do not agree that it will be the people of the next generation will be the one to solve this.

  19. karlgarcia says:

    Back to Solutions to save the world.😄
    Rising sea levels? Just refreeze the arctic, if it works then refreeze the antarctic.

    • karl,

      I really like these links to possible solutions.

      I think the best way to prioritize these is by,

      1). Conservation (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

      a. Increased efficiency

      2). Alternative fuels (fusion to ocean currents, so long as its non-fossil fuel)

      3). Geo-engineering solutions

      The CO2 and Arctic freezing ideas, represent Geo-engineering, big projects usually mean unintended consequences. So it has to pass 1 and 2.

      Conservation and efficiency, we can do this at personal levels, then your barangay solution comes into play, or a private sub-division (do you guys have HOAs over there?). Big cities and towns will be hard pressed to do this, so it has to be an individual effort… but I think small towns in the countryside (especially if they are trying to invite tourists to their bed and breakfast), beautify their area = more visits.

      For fossil fuel divesting, are there houses and neighborhoods in the Philippines playing around with solar? How much did it cost? Is it sunny there enough times for this to be viable? Which other personal alternative energy solutions can the Philippines use?

      The ozone layer, I think at this time would be somewhat of a red herring, since CO2 isn’t the short term problem now, it’s methane from all the fracking. So the question should be how current increase in methane thru fracking is affecting the ozone layer, and how else is this affecting the atmosphere.

      The plastic round-up in the Pacific is a great idea, but if there ‘s no Conservation and divestment from fossil fuel, it’s kinda like scooping water out of a sinking ship.

      That brain dead article isn’t so much related to climate change, but since the cheat death industry is alive and well, ie. cryogenics, gene treatment, singularity, etc. the bigger question is what’s the point of attempting to live forever (which I think is the end game for this brain juice treatment you’ve linked above)? is this survival or simply escapism?


      • karlgarcia says:

        👍🏻 If by HOA you mean Home Owner’s Associations,then yes we do have them.
        Ozone depletion is due to aerosols or CFCs and CO2 problem created the Green House effect.

        i guess reversing comatose is just for living a little longer and not necessarily living for ever.
        I don’t like immortality too or 200 year olds populating the earth, how will that solve over population?

        on methane we can control methane from landfills,but For belching cows, I don’t know how they ate going to deal with that.

        plasma gasification that results to syngas should also be an alternative,so long as they reduce the costs

        landfill mining is my solution to lack of land space.

        Divestment from fossil fuel…with cheap oil and cheap coal and with chinese requirements,this would be hard.

  20. karl, Joey Jalandoni, et al…

    re “Under the DOE policy, the Philippines should source 30% of its energy requirements from coal, 30% from renewable energy (RE), and another 30% from natural gas.

    The remaining 10% will come from oil-based power plants.”

    So the path here is to either follow the US and Chinese way, or separate from them, and cultivate comparative advantage, ala Costa Rica, the niche being green and green energy.

    Here is America’s play in China right now, they are encouraging China to frack the shit out of its country side, whether this is done maliciously by Obama, or Obama just really believes that fracking is so successful over here, that he wants to take the show on the road (granted Obama got rid of the coal industry, single-handedly),

    As I’ve said, the short-term issue with fracking—aside from polluting ground water, consequently land nearby—is methane leak into the atmosphere. Obama’s gamble is that he’ll be able to clean up methane easier than CO2 (rightly so, that’s a fair gamble, but methane in the atmosphere due to Obama’s fracking campaigne is now unprecedented … topping that off is their encouragement to get China to frack, so we’re in uncharted territory now),

    Please watch this video on fracking, the US and China,

    The Philippine should counter with a different offer,

    we’ll call it the Costa Rican offer 😉

    here are China’s priorities,

    China’s Hierarchy of Security Priorities

    1. Party Leadership

    2. Party-State Administration

    3. Governance of Core Han Homeland

    4. Stability in Ethno-Religious Minority Borderlands

    5. Integrity of Land Borders

    6. Upholding and Furthering Near Seas Claims

    7. Addressing Far Seas Interests

    Addressing Far Seas Interests (maybe since they’ve created islands and populated ’em, the Chinese now consider them Near Seas)— 6 or 7, 6 and 7.

    The Philippines can address 1 and 2, regarding 3 and 4, which trump 6 and 7 any day of the week.
    Can the Philippines appeal to China’s better nature? That’s essentially the question. Another question is can the Philippines appeal to the Core Han Homeland’s survival, or are they used to wearing gas masks (can we get used to wearing gas masks as the new soon-to-be normal?)? —

    the way trade winds flow, I’m more affected from Chinese pollution than you guys, but since China (w/out this course correction) will export its industrial mechanism, that means the Philippines 😉 . So we’re all in the boat here.

  21. karlgarcia says:

    The stuff I mentioned about the Commodities Market in China came from this article.

    In this article it said that 30% to 50 % of the rare earth production of the whole world goes to China

    It also shows that the other commodities of the world almost end up in China

    My mention of the end of the petro Dollar is because of the Chinese demand for Oil. Russia demands Payment in Yuan instead of dollars. Soon Saudi,Iran and the others will demand Yuan payment somthat means end of the Kissinger inspired Petrodollar it will now be called PetronYuan.

    They may move out from oil in terms of power generation,but the cars still need them.
    Unless the car manufacturers shift to electric or go back to Flintstone’s foot driven cars,Divesting from fossils will just remain as a good idea.

    Lance if you are also against mining.
    Will you give up using electronics ?even if you cook from glass you still need to mine sand.

    • karl,

      Balance is the whole point here.

      I’m not playing black and white here, though if you place me (personally) on the spectrum of “progress” I’d be closer to a Luddite than a tech savvy, energy guzzling guy. So I’m totally for technology (the Space race in the 60s came out with some really cool green ideas).

      But when companies, powerful people, etc. start shitting on other weaker folks, there’s something inherently wrong. Now that link you shared re Ecuador/Chevron lawsuit in Canada, that involved a group called Amazon Watch, which spans 5 countries and like 400 different local tribes.

      When you scroll up to the article under the linked Bantay Dagat I also linked “high definition cameras” to Amazon Watch. There wouldn’t have been a case to pursue against Chevron without these surveillance cameras in the forest and drones— so technology can totally help… I’m not discounting it.

      Over here, mining, logging, operations are watched carefully… fracking not so much since this was kinda unleashed with no preparation, but local govts and states are catching up and regulations are now slowly enforced (with many operations now closed, due to negligence and/or abuse, in states like New York, etc.). That’s what we have going for us in the west.

      BUT it’s different in the 3rd world.

      In the Philippines, I don’t think you can rely on the national gov’t, much less local gov’t, when it comes to mining, logging and drilling over there. That’s the issue,

      I think there’s a Luddite component to all this though. For example those tribes in the Amazon, weren’t really hip with technology since they got much of what they needed in the Amazon jungle— but with oil companies coming in (both national along with multi-national corporations), they’re effectively wiping out their livelihood.

      That’s a problem, no matter how you cut it. And since we’re generating that demand we should own up to it, as contributors.

      I use electronics, but since I’m well aware that my demand translates into abuse overseas to satiate and profit from my demand, I am ever mindful and keep this demand of mine in check— that’s why I drive an old car, why my laptop is 10 yrs old, my cell phone also, etc. etc.

      So it’s about balance. Which is related to conservation, which the US and China aren’t pushing for. That is the wider point. 😉

      • karlgarcia says:

        older cars require more maintenance ,they pollute and they add to the traffic. That is beside the point.hehe

        • It passes the smog check all the time, karl. My mechanic is Syrian (Christian), he’s tops. But I guess the point I’m trying to push for here is conservation, if I don’t have to drive it, I won’t, hence it’s still in good condition for its age (on top of being well maintained).

          The bigger concept here is consumerism, and this whole notion of throw-away culture (which is encouraged by design 😉 ), this adds to wrecking the climate and polluting the world. What I really want to do is upgrade to an electric car, but can’t because they all cost too much (even second hand).

          So it’s between public transport and my trusted 93 Corolla, that’s my attempt to not participate in consumerism.

          Hell if I could drive a golf cart on the road I would, which is what they drive on Santa Catalina island here,

          (maybe small island municipalities like Biliran over there, can push for golf carts as public transport, in addition to passenger bicycle set-ups, hooked ’em up direct to solar charging stations 😉 , some small islands over there can totally follow Catalina Island’s example, google it)

          • Joe America says:

            The motorcycle, motorcycle cab and pedicab are the dominant means of getting around on Biliran. There is one electric cab (small, maybe 5 riders). The civic mindset is not forward looking, unfortunately. I was just reflecting on that during my morning hike up the hill overlooking the seas. (I always imagine Chinese warships sailing there.) Gasoline consumption per person moved is quite modest, I think. I’d put the ratio of number of cars, cycles and pedicabs to about 10, 70, 20, on an index of 100. [corrected]

            • But I’d take motorcycles anytime over jeepneys, Joe…

              plus that ratio, if you mean cycles as bicycles at 70 is still pretty good, I hope they maintain it. I gotta feeling though that if people had a choice offer there they’d all be driving cars 😉 . So how to convince them that progress isn’t everyone driving their own cars, that’s the billion dollar question!

              • Joe America says:

                You can get a lot of 7 peso jeepney rides for P50,000, which is the condition of the condition for many here. Indeed, if you flip the world upside down or inside out, the Philippines is likely a leader in citizen miles per gallon, or low emissions per person. The pedicabs are terrific in town. If I were mayor, I would ban motored vehicles from downtown Naval and mandate pedicabs only, with the exception of a circular one-way drive for buses and service trucks. Of course, I’d never get elected or would end up dead in the gutter some stray Friday night.

              • LG says:

                Filipino ingenuity in photos.

    • “They may move out from oil in terms of power generation,but the cars still need them.
      Unless the car manufacturers shift to electric or go back to Flintstone’s foot driven cars,Divesting from fossils will just remain as a good idea.”

      If the internal combustion engine was developed around 1860s, the electric was developed a generation or so before. The switch was to internal combustion engines because no one knew about environmental costs (plus it was cheaper, it’s definitely not cheaper now 😉 )

      Up and down the western states, there’s a bunch of Tesla charging stations, even none Tesla ones. In my last trip to AZ, they had charging stations, direct from solar panels, which shaded your electric car at the same time.

      so the pendulum is definitely swinging towards electric cars again. But these cars, cost an arm and a leg right now (I can’t get one), that’s where China comes in with its ability to scale-up, and lower costs. Instead of the US going to China to figure out how people can all switch from gas to electric, the priority’s fracking (out of whack!).

      I’m sure the idea of handing the car industry to China, would be impossible to consider, that’s where the Philippines can present its Costa Rican offer , ie., help us out with electric modes of transport, both public and private, and we’ll buy from you… that way China can grow its green energy sector, instead of fracking. 😉

      • chempo says:

        PhUV (Philippine Utility Vehicle) Incorporated has been producing ejeepneys since 2008. These should be flooding the cities. I can’t understand why it’s not promoted more than it should. Perhaps it’s not cost effective, I don’t know.
        Good old Binay provided free rides on ejeepneys in my part of town for a long while. Fares apply now, but the rates are fair. They are comfortable, clean and quiet, so they play the condo built-up areares with no problems.

        • that’s awesome, chemp!

          And they’ve had it since 2008!

          GRIPP, Greenpeace welcome DOTC go signal on Electric Jeepneys
          Press release – May 5, 2008

          The Electric Jeepney or E-Jeepney, a cleaner, safer, renewable alternative to fossil-fuel based public transport, has finally been given the green light to ply the country’s public roads. GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer) and Greenpeace today welcomed the go-signal from the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communication) finally classifying the said vehicle and allowing it to operate in major thoroughfares.

          The E-Jeepneys were launched last July 4, 2007 in Makati City, as part of a larger initiative called the Climate Friendly Cities Project. The project demonstrates how cities can help mitigate the problem of climate change through implementing measures that would avoid the use of climate change-inducing fossil fuels.

          Through the project, a fleet of electric-powered jeepneys will derive energy from biodegradable wastes from the city’s wet markets, food establishments and households, thereby helping mitigate climate change even as it addresses urban problems such as air pollution and solid waste, while providing enhanced incomes to the jeepney drivers.

          The project is sponsored in part by the Dutch Doen Foundation and is currently supported by Makati, Baguio and Puerto Princessa Cities.


          this is better than golf carts! are they still around, and are there more of them, or did this just fizzle out? or is it still going strong? I wonder how it’s going in Baguio and Palawan?

    • josephivo says:

      Efficiency and effectiveness. Of course efficiency is important, how to make things that produce smaller ecological footprints. But equally important is the question “What is enough?”, with answers from an unbiased individuals, not from somebody brainwashed by powerful marketeers. 3 smartphones, or 2, or is 1 sufficient? And how flashy should it be? 2 cars, or will 1 do and aim for the 5 million Peso Porsche or will the 500 thousand little one be equally adequate? “The invisible hand”, but with a deck of untampered cards. Today’s marketplace is warped by big business and the bankers’ mantra of growth.

      • Agreed, josephivo,

        Goes back to the question of progress, what exactly is progress? And who gets to define it? 😉

        • karlgarcia says:

          Is there an antigress?

        • josephivo says:

          Progress has a sense of direction, getting closer to the destination, So the real question is “what is the destination?”

          Process wise the limit is doing everything with nothing. The limit of the goal “maximum accumulated happiness for everything in the universe”?

          • Exactly, josephivo, kinda like the point and the circle, when it’s actually a sphere,

            Have you ever seen “Interstellar”? There’s this quote that’s similar to the above drawing from Abbott’s “Flatland”, essentially this was the whole point of the movie,

            • ooops… here’s the quote,

              • It’s summer here, so that usually means ants come in thru the front door and raid your kitchen. I sprayed Lysol on a line of ants trailing to the kitchen from the door, and committed a full scale massacre, then mopped it up. Then non-chalantly , ate my burger.

                I knew it was wrong. I just ended hundreds of lives in a span of 3 minutes, less. So although I yammer on about these corporations and society killing each other, killing us, I just did it with no compunction the other day, massacre.

                So in a way I notice that dot, and I can see outlines of circles, but don’t quite understand the bigger, I mean the really big picture. The Jains I think get it,

                it’s why they have feathered brooms and masks, so they don’t accidentally breathe small creatures or step on them, I knew deep in my heart I was suppose to just leave those ants alone, or simply sweep ’em with a feathered broom,

              • karlgarcia says:

                Also from interstellar.

                “Interstellar” features this classic poem by Dylan Thomas:

                Do not go gentle into that good night

                Do not go gentle into that good night,
                Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
                Because their words had forked no lightning they
                Do not go gentle into that good night.

                Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
                Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
                And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
                Do not go gentle into that good night.

                Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
                Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                And you, my father, there on the sad height,
                Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
                Do not go gentle into that good night.
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


              • yeah, very good movie,

                but I thought when Matt Damon recited it, that’s what’s more fitting for us now re climate change, compare this scene with selfishness, karl…

              • karlgarcia says:

                Michael Caine sounded better.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Independence Day (movie)speech-We will not go quietly into the night….

              • hahahaha… karl, that speech was so good, they even made it part of the trailer for the 2nd one— which sucked-ass big time, LOL! Nothing beats this speech though, karl (I could totally see DU30 and his staff reciting the same lines here, as soon as Mr. Lim left the office! 😉 LOL! hahahahahahaha…)

          • edgar lores says:

            Because the destination is largely unknown, the journey is the destination.

            • josephivo says:

              Happiness is the essential word for me. As written before, there are two kinds of happiness, the now, the instantaneous absence of all negative, and the reflective, the happy glance over the shoulder to see that it has been good. The second one is the more valuable one for most. As the final destination is dead, the ultimate happiness is the last reflection on the past, the journey. So I agree that for most of us the journey is the most important.

              • LG says:

                If happiness not found in the journey, would satisfaction suffice?

              • josephivo says:

                Last time I died, I felt so privileged and happy, in a flash all the blessings I got, the many happy moments, the people I could help…the journey (?), so indeed, maybe satisfaction is the better word.

              • edgar lores says:

                The journey is of the past but it is also of the now. According to mystics, the greatest happiness at the individual level is to live completely in the moment… such that no memory is created.

                Memory is a mere shadow of a real thing. It is not the real thing.

                Memory is thought thinking of the past. And thought also tries to capture the present and also tries to live in the future.

                If one lives utterly in the moment, there is no thought. One sees the sailing cloud, the blueness of the sky, and the vastness of the earth. When thought intervenes and says, “I must remember this,” the direct experience of the moment is lost. One is no longer living in the moment… and the earth has lost its glory.

                This is the power of now as mystics teach it. It is like being in the zone most of the time. When thought ceases to be, when the notes of the music are heard afresh in all its pristine sweetness as if for the first time and not in memory, when the feet, arms, and hands dribble the ball effortlessly and the fingers fling the ball into the hoop unerringly, the miracle occurs.

              • josephivo says:

                Ambot. Picture taking is the ultimate way of trying to remember. My first visit to Bangkok on a boat in small channels, at every turn a picture worth taking, …35, 36, 37 happy for the extra one, 38, 39, 40, mixed feelings, 41, 42, 43, must be impossible, indeed, no film in the camera. But many vivid pictures in my memory instead, until today.

                Research contradicts the mystics. Memory tops actual experience. E.g. Kahneman, Noble Price winner economics.

              • I didn’t want to get too far in the rabbit hole, but in the essay “On Experience” Michel de Montaigne writes, “I study myself more than any other subject. That is my metaphysics; that is my physics.”

                He attempts to balance memory (of which I think contemplative thinking too belongs, where we always come to an impasse of sorts, edgar 😉 ) and experience (which I put LG’s “concrete” and action)… he basically comes up with the same conclusions you two have.

                I too fluctuate between the two, high falutin’ and back to “concrete”, etc. But when it comes to leadership position you have to stop thinking in moral-based terms and start thinking in result-based terms.

                that’s experience.

                “There is no desire more natural than that of knowledge. We try all ways that can lead us to it; where reason is wanting, we therein employ experience,
                which is a means much more weak and cheap; but truth is so great a thing that we ought not to disdain any mediation that will guide us to it. Reason has so many forms that we know not to which to take; experience has no fewer; the consequence we would draw from the comparison of events is unsure, by reason they are always unlike.”


                My heart tells me that killing those ants the other day is wrong (and that the Jains are on to something), but I know from my gut, that if those ants had been fire ants and more lethal, i’d have no problem wiping them out similarly… my mind can rationalize the two scenarios, but it’s my gut that makes the final decision, which is based on my 5 senses, maybe a 6th which I can’t quite put my finger on.

                so I agree with you guys we can go further into the rabbit hole or keep panning out ( and I don’t think Google maps has this feature yet 😉 ) go further out from our solar system, out further to the galaxy and to other galaxies, and realize how small this climate change problem is in that context.

                there we realize that we can still get hit by asteroids and wayward comets, and that at the outer rim of the galaxy we’re subject to bigger problems (plus there’s a blackhole at the center of our galaxy), aside from that if we go underground, there are volcanoes that can end the world with such ease, why talk about homeostasis at all, we are subject to bigger events,

                but that will only justify in-action 😉 (supporting de Montaigne’s failure of reason)

                So I agree with edgar fully here, live in the moment but I would add feel it with all your senses, and if something’s preventing you from enjoying the moment, revolt!

                josephivo, I’ve not watched the video yet (internet connection’s slow this morning), but consider this case of one Clive Wearing,

              • edgar lores says:

                “But when it comes to leadership position you have to stop thinking in moral-based terms and start thinking in result-based terms.

                Better rethink this one.

                Almost every political or business decision has moral implications. It is time to dispel the dangerous Machiavellian notion that nations (or businesses) should act purely out of self-interests and not in terms of morality.

                Think of the consequences of each of these:

                o Obama – fracking
                o China – nine-dash line
                o Duterte – vigilantism

                There is no dichotomy: the moral ideal is commonsensical. High falutin’ is pragmatic.

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for flipping my mind inside out. Moral values are anchors or guideposts that keep us civil and behaving as a community rather than a set of individuals. So it is the tangible root to good deeds FOR THE COMMUNITY. Without these anchors or guideposts, we slaughter people as easily as ants in the name of progress. I use the distinction between moral values as being anchors or guideposts. Anchors are the values we cannot veer from and remain civil. Killing another human being, for instance. (War is a morally approved exception that peaceful people vehemently disagree with.) Guideposts are a little softer. The rule says wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, to save the community the expense of scraping your head off the pavement. But most members of the community understand that, if you can’t afford a helmet and have to get to work, they won’t complain.

                I’d argue that LCX has moral anchors and guideposts, or he would not question his killing of the ants.

              • edgar lores says:

                Totally agree that LCpl_X has moral foundations; the post proves it. He just forgets sometimes. 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                I kill ants and roaches if there are less than 10 of them,beyond that I run.

              • This was the whole premise, Joe, edgar, et al.

                which I took from Camus’ which he took from de Montaigne (reason vs. experience)… Camus’ attempted to salvage what could be salvaged from humanity when there is an absence of values… and revolt is what he came up with.

                The illusion that prevents us from seeing is IMHO, comfort, comfort inoculates man from this revolt that he’s always been entitled to.

                Morals ,

                sure I’m a fan of morals, but regular folks don’t think in those terms, hence all the crap we see, if we thought in those terms the world would be heaven. So these values/principles have to be tempered with action— action is something you do, when you are the actor you’re using all 5 senses (maybe 6),

                and when you are the receiver of such action, you will feel it with your 5 senses (+1), death is the negation of these senses, hence the ultimate form of freedom.

                that’s the context of what I said here:

                “… when it comes to leadership position you have to stop thinking in moral-based terms and start thinking in result-based terms.”

                I’m not saying you abandon morality altogether (though the assumption here is of a world w/out morality), but recognize that results— that can be felt using 5 senses, +1 —- is what animates people.

                This article’s attempting to animate people, w/out the high falutin’ stuff— though unlike Camus, who stripped everything off, I’m introducing terms like homeostasis, love as the 4th dimension, empathy, etc.

                But the question has always been, can you do good w/out the idea of good? And animals , kids, retarded people, have shown us that without principles/values , we still have the capacity to do good.

                That’s my point 😉 .

              • karlgarcia says:

                There is a moral dilemma and a moral dalai lama.

              • josephivo says:

                Meandering, swerve of topic, using “pars pro toto” (a part taken for the whole), concepts taken out of context… just for fun, by accident and to twist, frame or derail an argument. All part of the charm of this blog.

                Climate change, progress, destination of mankind, destination of an individual, morality, living in the moment versus enjoying a memory, thinking versus doing… just to name a few of the philosophical subjects covered in one go. 7 subjects for future blogs?

              • “All part of the charm of this blog.”

                LOL! 😉

            • Related also is William Ruddiman,

              my buddies in the prepper movement love this guy, because it justifies their in action, worst their disdain for those who call for action, ie. “see, climate change isn’t new, we’ve been doing it for 8,000 years now”

              in-action, we can come up with a variety of excuse not to do something, hence why I chose the title of the article, but read more on Ruddiman here,

              • andy ibay says:

                hah, hah, hah, a farfetched ignoramus laughter for my lack comprehension of the issues discuss here. DUTERTE, DUTERTE, SOLUTIONS, NOTHING BUT SOLUTIONS, as if no thoughts or experience are behind those deemed immoral kind of actions. It is not the means justify the ends, leaders of nil reason think of consequences as results. that’s what a one-eyed man sees in the country of the blind. DUTERTE’s minders’ of the establishment sees in him what they did not vote for.

              • so true, andy, so true. LOL! 😉

            • NHerrera says:

              I am entering into the fray here while realizing that my knowledge of philosophy has not brought me to high falutin passion and study of morality (that is a joke, Edgar, LCpl_X, Joe, and others in the TSH, hahaha), but consider this the following.

              Suppose that unlike how it historically developed, wise moral men were debating — after physics research confirmed the reality of nuclear energy — how to proceed:

              1. There is virtual unlimited energy in nuclear energy and though it has radiation risks if products such as nuclear fuel are not contained well versus the risks of global warming from continued use of fossil fuel. Thus, on balance we may even suppose that radiation risk is less than global warming risk (at least grant me this assumption for purpose of this post).

              2. There is the realistic danger of nuclear weaponry used by humans who are far from being Angels and thus blowing us all up.

              What does morality say about this situation?I know relativistic morality is a dirty phrase, without even considering that one has to concede that humans are not known to know everything at each point of time and one may even ask what is absolute morality? One does not have to respond to this note. I myself do not prefer the side of morality relativism. I can’t help posting this nevertheless.


              • NHerrera, jump on in, the water’s fine! LOL! 😉

                The San Onofre nuclear station in Camp Pendleton closed down after the Fukushima incident, which leaves only 1 nuke power station Diablo Canyon, near Pismo Beach.

                Those are the only 2 (now 1) in CA, see map

                CNN had a really good documentary pro-Nuke energy a couple years back, titled “Pandora’s Promise”,

                It was very convincing, basically Fukushima incident happened because they were using old technology and design, and that new nuke plants are fail safe, 100% secure.

                The doc film didn’t cover weaponization, simply addressed the safety features of new nuke stations, to alleviate the fears after Fukushima.

              • but think the buzz these days re nuke energy are fusion and cold fusion,

              • karlgarcia says:

                North Korea can declare Ww3 to China and Japan.



                Let us not make their leader angry.We don’t like him when he’s angry.

              • edgar lores says:


                Interesting question: Should mankind, as Pandora, open the box?

                Historically, mankind always has. Before the atom, there was the morality of biological weapons. Before that, gunpowder. Before that, the throw, the thrust, and the swing of an arrow, a blade, and a club.

                After the atom, there have been auto-guided and remote-guided weapons. The US navy has just deployed a laser weapon system and a railgun. After splitting the atom, we are now splitting and splicing DNA.

                Knowledge, once gained, is difficult, if not impossible, to suppress.

                And the motivation to open new wrappers in the box has not always been to kill with conscienceless intentionality. Part of the motivation has always been the imagined capability of the “enemy.” It has been a race of sorts.

                As to morality, each new force is neither inherently good or bad. The morality has always resided with the discoverer, the inventor, the developer — or the user.

                Appropriately enough, the quoted Dylan Thomas poem obliquely speaks of the atom:

                “Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
                And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
                Do not go gentle into that good night.”

                Apart from nuclear reactors to generate electricity, here are two what-if beneficial scenarios for the employment of nuclear force:

                1. A huge asteroid is plotted to crash into the earth with the force of a thousand atom bombs instantly killing millions and ushering in a new Ice Age. Should mankind launch a rocket equipped with a nuclear bomb to disintegrate the rogue asteroid? (I believe this was a movie.)

                2. Mankind must escape the planet before the sun becomes a red giant. Way before the “dying of the light”, should not mankind harness the energies learnt from the use of nuclear force to achieve escape velocity from earth’s embrace and to propel his spaceships across interplanetary distances?

              • edgar,

                as to asteroids, that’s actually one of the many reasons Obama has justified keeping our nukes (remember he got the peace prize for promising to get rid of them very early on 😉 ).

              • edgar lores says:

                Killer asteroids! Thanks, Lance.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Ice Age and Killer Asteroids.

    • Here’s something poignant, karl. re Mining…

      this is Anaconda Cooper mine, in Butte, Montana, the red eerie looking lake to the right of the town, is one of the pits in Berkeley open pit, flooded with arsenic, cadmium, sulphuric acid, and god knows what else,

      Butte boasts one of the highest cases of cancers in the nation, although the open pit mining operation has been closed since the 80s.

      A husband of one of the cancer victims, stood-up Our Lady of the Rockies, overlooking Berkeley pit,

      • “In Butte’s peak mining days, many miners would get silicosis or “miners consumption” from inhaling silica particles. Today people can still be affected by exposure to the heavy metals. Too much copper, cobalt, and arsenic can cause inflammatory diseases and cardiac functional disorders. Arsenic can also cause skin, lung, and bladder cancer and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Ingestion of cadmium can increase the risk for prostate cancer, kidney disease, and bone disorders. Concentration of lead in the water could pose a risk for lead poisoning.”

        • karlgarcia says:

          Landfill mining will soon be appealing…..or not.

          • karlgarcia says:


            We know Apple fans are fanatically loyal to the company, but would you believe they love Apple enough to just give it $40 million worth of gold? Well, they did… even though that wasn’t their intention. 9to5Mac points out that Apple’s latest Environmental Responsibility Report (PDF) shows that it recovered 89 million pounds of materials in its recycling program last year, including $40 million worth of gold. In other words, Apple’s recycling program is not only a good thing for the environment, but a good thing for Apple as well.

            This doesn’t mean that Apple has been simply melting down unwanted versions of the Apple Watch Edition, however. As 9to5Mac notes, gold is often used in circuit boards in Apple products because “it has low electrical resistance and, unlike copper, doesn’t corrode.”

            Apple has been making a big push this year to educate users about its recycling program so it can recover and reuse materials from discarded devices. At a product launch event this year, it unveiled a new recycling robot named Liam that can take apart an iPhone an separate it into its components automatically. In addition to gold, Liam also separates out silver, copper and platinum from used iPhones, so it looks like Apple will have no shortage of precious metals at its disposal for the foreseeable future.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    Lance my pilosopo downside of recycling and reusing and additional comments on consumerism.


    Imagine your house full of stuff that you just would not throw away.

    Inventory discounted bargain sales….
    where they make people buy something you never need because it is 50 percent off.

    You either dispose quickly or horde both are not good.

    It really is a circus,I mean a balancing act.

    • Yeah, I think it’s related to the concept of homeostasis, since hoarding usually is associated with not only some sort of psychiatric break-down, but also some sort of fear of an impending collapse (which I ascribe to, but instead of going inwards, I prefer expanding outwards).

      This is definitely true among folks in the prepper movement (which many are former military types), I try to make friends with them too, as well as urban homesteaders (homesteaders are more balanced to tell you the truth, with hippy mindset… different from prepper mindset in outlook only).

      Here’s a great example (also connects to my post above to Joe re old people dying as a legit American epidemic),

      Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 |

      Walter Samasko Jr., a recluse, died at home in May, but his body wasn’t discovered until June, when neighbors complained of the smell coming from his house.

      There was only $200 in his bank account. But there was a $7 million surprise at home.

      As the house was being cleaned for sale, officials discovered gold bars and gold coins stored in boxes in the garage and in the house.

      The coins had been minted in such places as Mexico, England, Austria and South Africa. Some dated to 1872.

      There were so many coins that Carson City Clerk Alan Glover used a wheelbarrow to haul the gold to his truck and deposit it for safekeeping.

      Samasko had no will and no apparent close relatives. He was cremated and his ashes were flown to Chicago to be placed with his mother, who moved with Samasko from California to Carson City. She died in 1992.

      On the other hand I’ve found some really great, quality stuff in antique stores and people’s homes who hoard (healthy hoarders I call them collectors 😉 ), I have this really cool hand crank coffee grinder and bunch of other quality stuff that they don’t make anymore, since the whole point of making stuff these days is to ensure that it doesn’t last because they want you to keep purchasing low-end stuff (another way they screw you over!).

      So hoarders IMHO can play a role, like people who memorize books in Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”.

  23. CO2 vs. CH4,

    continue reading article here (a great read, when considering fracking)…

    • also keep in mind, that the article above is from the Nation,

      “…the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, and the most widely read weekly journal of progressive political and cultural news, opinion and analysis. It was founded on July 6, 1865, as a successor to William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, with the stated mission to “make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred.”

      so, though the downward trend mentioned in the article sounds optimistic, it’s talking about the US. 😦 across the world CO2 emissions , especially in Asia, is climbing.

      • LG says:

        With all their progressive insights, I wonder how the Nation staff conduct their daily lives? Besides researching and writing, that is. Much different from mine or yours?

      • LG says:

        Sounds like between increased CO2 n CH4 emissions, lifespan of peoples across the globe should be shorter compared to their respective ancestors….but the reverse seems to be true, in general, except for the war torn and famine ravaged countries.

        • LG,

          I get where you’re coming from, and I do react similarly when Jehovah’s witnesses knock on my door telling me that the end is near. and I do realize that 100 yrs ago people lived to be 60s, and 200 yrs 20 was considered mid-age, these days we’re living to our 90s.

          It goes back to NHerrera‘s question above on morality vis-a-vis risks, IMHO.

          Medicine and Law— medicine, the furthest man has achieved thru science, and law, represents the furthest man has achieved thru philosophy— these two pursuits have definitely allowed for longer lives for more people, thus over-population of the planet.

          I’m still having trouble figuring out the balance (morality in all that), but I do take solace in the fact that nature tends to balance things out on it’s own (homeostasis).

          re CO2 and CH4 though, I think the point is that instead of global warming happening in 2 generations, with added methane, there’s a good chance we’ll only have 1 generation to play around with.

          So CO2 and CH4 isn’t talking about now per se… though evidence of more of these “Hundred Year” storms and weather events are now the new normal.

          so it’s coming.

          Whether or not it’s gonna wipe us out completely, who knows… maybe a Water World or Mad Max scenario is more likely 😉 . Regardless, IMHO, still worth the fight, if for no other sane reason than the fight itself (the point of the article).

          • sonny says:

            LC, the answer lies in the conundrum you alluded to about death: be a soldier or be a monk. If soldiering fails then maybe try being a monk. 🙂

    • karlgarcia says:

      I promised not to swear,but What the Frack?!

  24. karlgarcia says:

    Common sense tells us that we and the rest if the animal kingdom exhale CO2 and fart and belch Methane.
    We tried to control CO2 by reforestation and methane emissions through landfills.
    reforestation efforts failed so people tried to go paperless taking advantage of the electronic world,but guess what there also too many plastics in the Ocean so why not just use paper bags instead of plastic?
    You try to solve one thing that leads to another problem.You replace wooden furnitures with plastic,or other alternatives such as steel or glass,still somehow in doing do you destroy nature?

    Now to methane we blame the belching of cattle and farting ignoring the fact that we too belch and we too fart,so we just double our beef intake to the chagrin of our family doctor. We buy more shoes,belts,bags and leather jackets.
    So we turn our attention to open dumps by having more sanitary landfills to trap the methane,but there is no more land for garbage so better reuse recycle and repurpose.
    But the problem is the household turned into mini museums so everything has to go… enter landfill mining and plasma gasification….mean while somewhere in the UK they built one but they were not sure it would work after convincing the sponsors it would,so they just leave everything and have it moth balled.
    They say do not worry somrone discovered how to clean the pacific ocean with just by using the laws of physics,let them worry about the garbage ,they are fracking anyways so why would we control the methane emmissions?Let us just suck the CO2 out of the sky……..

    • Exactly, karl… and you’ve not even mentioned over-population and the ad companies worldwide encouraging us to consume more, and more… to excess. Is progress then, synonymous to excess?

      progress = excess? 😉

      • karlgarcia says:

        I was already stressed out😜.Or I was remindedof too much of antiaging,rejuvenation,regeneration will lead to 200 year olds,then 300 year olds,I don’t want that future.
        Better build that wormhole fast if not just the starship enterprise,to boldly go where no one has gone before.

        • “Interstellar” is a great example of escapism, karl… before we even think about colonizing earth-like planets, we should attempt to un-fuck ourselves as a species first… the moon and Mars, to include asteroid mining, I’m not too concerned about, nothing to screw-up 😉 .

  25. cha says:

    Maybe Freud is right after all, there lies in each of our beings a force that drives us towards our own destruction and death. Perhaps climate change is but another manifestation of this urge for destruction and decay pursued collectively. Waging war against each other being another.

    But Thanatos, the death drive, is kept in check by our Eros, our drive to live. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Yin and Yang. Within darkness there is light. Night becomes day and day becomes night. Maybe Newton and the Chinese too have it right.

    Then again, there is the Middle Way according to the Buddha; the path to wisdom and enlightenment, the path of moderation between the extremes of sensual enlightenment and self-mortification. I suppose he is right too.

    Or then there is also the Good Book that urges the faithful to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”). The Bible must also be right. As must be our own Jose Rizal – “It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice.”

    Thenceforth comes along the supposedly new National Arts and Culture Commission head of the Philippines, Freddie Aguilar, who thinks a symbol of heroism on one hand and pragmatism on the other can co-exist with a simple switch. Put the carabao in the place of the national hero. Talk about being wasted and stoned. Welcome back to real life, welcome to Duterte’s Philippines.

    • I absolutely agree, cha.

      By the way, is this Mr. Freddie Aguilar’s official title? that guy kicked ass in the inauguration, they should’ve asked him to sing more songs during that 5 mins. of dead air, in which a bunch of people awkwardly pumping their fists.

      Do you think then that Sec. Gina Lopez is the only consolation to the current state of things? Climate change is DENR’s and she does have a whole media empire to help her cause. 😉 Maybe we can direct future blogs to her—- we are sort of a think tank here.

  26. karlgarcia says:

    Matt Damon.So Expensive to Save Private Ryan’s butt.

    Here’s the movie-by-movie budget breakdown:

    Courage Under Fire: $46 million
    Saving Private Ryan: $70 million
    Titan A.E.: $75 million
    Syriana: $50 million
    Green Zone: $100 million
    Elysium: $115 million
    Interstellar: $165 million
    The Martian: $108 million
    Total: $729 million
    And here are the fictional estimates:

    Courage Under Fire (Gulf War 1 helicopter rescue): $300,000
    Saving Private Ryan (WW2 Europe search party): $100,000
    Titan A.E. (Earth evacuation spaceship): $200 billion
    Syriana (Middle East private security return flight): $50,000
    Green Zone (US Army transport from Middle East): $50,000
    Elysium (Space station security deployment and damages): $100 million
    Interstellar (Interstellar spaceship): $500 billion
    The Martian (Mars mission): $200 billion
    Total: $900 billion plus change

  27. But let me prime China here again, was the first Chinese student to study in the US, at Yale University— graduated in 1854.

    After graduation he returned to China, becomes a businessman, but later becomes an advisor for the Emperor. His big idea was for China to send more Chinese students to the US, first to American pre-schools, then on to fancy universities. Yung Wing’s big idea was to replicate American innovation and industry in China, by way of his Chinese Education Mission (about 120 students).

    These days the bulk of foreign students in the US are Chinese, but unlike in Yung Wing’s days, there’s no effort to integrate. Yung Ming not only married a local American woman, when he returned to New England after graduation, the Civil War was going on, being a Naturalized American citizen by virtue of his 8 year stay in Connecticut, he even attempted to volunteer for the Civil War (his enlistment which was to a friend, an Army officer, was politely declined, his mission to China was far more important his friend said).

    So the Philippines can totally take the Yung Ming model, ensure some sort of deep cultural interaction, but unlike industry, the Philippines can offer innovation & creativity, but thru the Costa Rican model.


      “China has traditionally had a large number of students go abroad for studies with its higher education system proving unable to match the demand for higher education. The result is that there are large numbers of highly educated overseas Chinese (rencai), the vast majority of which decide to remain abroad after their studies. In building the size and prestige of its own university system, China developed the Thousand Talents program to attract overseas Chinese and top university talent from globally ranked universities. The goal is to create a competitive university system that produces valuable research, supports the innovation economy, and encourages Chinese to stay in China for their studies.”

      Can the Philippines match this program by bringing back it’s people, ie. professional expats, children of non-Filipinos, heritage Filipinos born outside of the Philippines, retired professionals who still have more to offer the world, and the list goes on…

      • karlgarcia says:

        Philippine’s is no exception for the Chinese, they enroll in Engineering,MBA,etc.I am not talking of Filipino Chinese,I am talking of Mainland Chinese.

        Now the goal of competive University has been achieved,I think.

  28. chempo says:

    When it comes to threads on philosophy I stay out of the way. I go sit in front of the class to marvel at Edgar, Cha, Chivas, Vicara and Josephino’s brilliance. I admire Lance’s oblique view on things and his dalliance with blog philosophers as he throws out challenging flies for the others to bite. And then Joeam interjects with wonderful explanations that puts perspective to seemingly high falutin stuff as he tries to relate it to our real world. Karl is like the kid in the room, running around and entertaining me with innocent but piercing questions to the sages.

    Thanks guys.

    “But when it comes to leadership position you have to stop thinking in moral-based terms and start thinking in result-based terms.”

    This is indeed a tough cookie and I’m aligned with Edger. If Lance is thinking in absolute terms, then I would say he is absolutely wrong on this one. It should neither be purely on moral or results-based thinking. For me I feel it should always be on the basis of for the better good of the majority.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Haha Chempo you are one of the sages I pierce,but I hope that does not make me a prick.😉😜

  29. chempo says:

    By the way Lance, thank you for this blog.

    I have to say what a splendid title for this blog. The literary genius in you is not lost on me. Dylan Thomas would have been proud that we are discussing his dark moments even though he preferred to rage than going gentle into that goodnight.

  30. karlgarcia says:

    China is reviving plans for 20 floating nuclear power plants.if they share the power with ASEAN or just us,do we refuse?

  31. karlgarcia says:

    The Finns have a way to finish their Nuclear waste. Entomb them in a mausoleum.

  32. karlgarcia says:

    Lance are you asking us to emulate Costa Rica’s ecotourism?

    A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws many tourists to its extensive national parks and protected areas.[74] In the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranked 44th in the world and second among Latin American countries after Mexico.[75] In the “natural resources” subindex, Costa Rica ranks sixth worldwide in the natural resources pillar, but 104th in terms of cultural resources.[75] Costa Rica ranks third of sixty countries covered in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index.[76] In the sustainable tourism category, Costa Rica is ranked first.

    Costa Rica has also developed a system of payments for environmental services.[45] Similarly, Costa Rica has a tax on water pollution to penalize businesses and homeowners that dump sewage, agricultural chemicals, and other pollutants into waterways.[77] In May 2007, the Costa Rican government announced its intentions to become 100% carbon neutral by 2021.[78] As of 2015, 93 percent of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources.[79]

    In 1996, the Forest Law was enacted to provide direct financial incentives to landowners for the provision of environmental services.[45] This helped reorient the forestry sector away from commercial timber production and the resulting deforestation, and helped create awareness of the services it provides for the economy and society (i.e., carbon fixation, hydrological services such as producing fresh drinking water, biodiversity protection, and provision of scenic beauty).[45]

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