Category Archives: Love It

Some Say We Don’t Need Clean Water

What a courageous leader for the public good. Lisa Jackson is a name that needs to be known in every household in America.  I don’t know about you, but I feel great knowing that someone is fighting for me to breath clean air and drink clean water.  And I love it that Ms. Jackson is so passionate about protecting the environment for us.

www.oprah.com

Did You Hear? Democracy Needs Trustworthy and Impartial Information|the Educating Gossip™

Feel It, Love It!

Ohhh this makes me feel sad but also more determined

“Gone with the Papers,” written by Chris Hedges ( http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/gone_with_the_papers_20110627/)  noted: 

 “We are losing a peculiar culture and an ethic. This loss is impoverishing our civil discourse and leaving us less and less connected to the city, the nation and the world around us.”  And also, “A democracy survives when its citizens have access to trustworthy and impartial sources of information, when it can discern lies from truth, when civic discourse is grounded in verifiable fact.”

The writer holds passionate beliefs about the role of a free and impartial press especially now as “[T]he increasing fusion of news and entertainment, the rise of a class of celebrity journalists on television who define reporting by their access to the famous and the powerful, the retreat by many readers into the ideological ghettos of the Internet and the ruthless drive by corporations to destroy the traditional news business are leaving us deaf, dumb and blind.”  Powerful stuff.  Love It!

Attack on Religion or a Call to Discovery?

 I have a friend, a learned scholar, who brought this engaging exchange to my attention posted at The Science Network.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

It’s a talk by  Neil deGrasse Tyson basically saying that religion is what some early scientists turned to when they could not explain the unknown and was used to fuel their creative thought.  The talk is lively and fun.  Tyson tells us to keep in mind that some of the greatest minds that have preceded us expressed notions of  intelligent design  when faced with the limits of their knowledge. “Science is a philosophy of discovery, intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. “     He encourages us to acknowledge that people are feeling at the limits of their knowledge when they invoke the notion of intelligent design.  He also encourages us to be self-aware of when we are at the limits of our knowledge and not let our belief systems limit our creativity, our search for knowledge.   Fun, fun, fun.

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Michael Shermer

Dr. Tyson is joined on the panel by speakers including  Michael Shermer, author of “Why People Believe Weird Things.”  Michael Shermer takes a social scientist’s point of view, asking the question:  what are the different variables that go into a person’s belief system?   He states that smart people believe weird things “because they are better at rationalizing beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.   Which is to say that most of the beliefs that most of us hold we arrived at because we were raised that way, or we were influenced by peers or mentors.”   It’s human nature to want to find reasons to justify what we believe. 

Another panalist states that business interests understand that science and innovation is important for the economy but they don’t particularly care if there is a large number  of uneducated people.  However, from the public policy and government affairs  point of view, it is critically important that citizens are educated.  In the United States, elected officials are tasked to represent and put into law policies and practices that the voters want.  If the people are uneducated on the most basic of human affairs, bad policy and government will result.  Business and government need educated people–business may need a few, but good government requires many more.

I started this blog to encourage myself and others to challenge beliefs.  First, acknowledging and modifying beliefs in light of new discoveries (“Own It”).  Then, acknowledge how the updated beliefs make us feel (“Feel It”), put those new beliefs into daily practice (“Live It”), and then be happy with our lives (“Love It”). 

It’s worth the 75 minutes to view the program because it makes you think about religion and beliefs in a different way. For me, this program was a reminder that wisdom (religion, philosophy, psychological) is a means for people to seek a deeper human experience and be encouraged to press forward, even in the face of seemingly overwhelming confusion, doubt, and unknowns. I felt both hopeful that public policy will balance the teaching of science and intelligent design in schools and happy that there is a role for belief in play in people’s creative lives. Watch the program and let me know how it made you think about what you believe, if it made you modify what you believe and how that makes you feel as you deeply connect with people and the world around you.

Kirsten Gillibrand on Daily Show – Garnering Trustworthiness?

Kirsten Gillibrand 2006 official photo cropped

Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator for New York was credited by Jon Stewart for helping pass legislation that included health benefits for the September 11, 2001 first responders.  Wisdom says, “You can tell a tree by it’s fruit.”  Perhaps Ms. Gillibrand is showing signs of someone who is trustworthy…

Who Can You Trust?

We all have beliefs, ideas, and concepts that influence our understanding of the world and behavior– whether they’re aware of it or not.  Understanding  the beliefs of others is a step toward trusting their opinions and decisions.  Check out this article   http://pdfcast.org/pdf/trust-the-importance-of-trustfulness-versus-trustworthiness  I found it interesting that first, we need to understand the difference between trustful and being trustworthy; and then, second, how being untrustworthy tends to make us less trustful/trusting. 

Here at the Educating Gossip, we’re going to have fun looking at our personal degree of trust in government and other public institutions estasblished to advance the public good.  We’ll explore actions by public agencies regarding issues such jobs, wealth creation and health care.  We’ll discuss what we believe is impartial, honest and competent.  We’ll have fun doing what is good for our selves, our community and the world.  We are what we believe and we will: Own it, Feel it, Live it and Love it!