Thursday, April 30, 2015

Senator Warren on the Truth in Settlements Act

Who ruined Baltimore?

A systems view, something regressives cannot comprehend.

The Next System Project

A very brief update from The Next System Project
View this email in your browser
Dear Colleague,
This is just a quick note to let you know that due to an exceptional and encouraging number of registrations for our national launch webinar (including your own!), we have exceeded the limits of the system we had planned on using. As a result, we will be hosting the webinar on 5/20 at 3PM ET as originally planned, but on a different platform that can handle the number of attendees we anticipate. You can find everything you'll need to watch and participate in the launch event here:
Watching the webinar should be relatively simple; it will stream live in the YouTube video embedded on that page. There's no need to re-register on the new launch page, but you should certainly feel free to do so to let us know that you're still planning on participating. We will be using the hashtag #WhatsNext on Twitter to expand the conversation and take questions, which our team will be feeding to the moderator on the stream, so we hope you'll join us there as well and add your voice to the conversation.
Thanks, and we look forward to connecting with all of you on 5/20 at 3PM ET.
The Next System Project

Copyright © 2015 Democracy Collaborative, All rights reserved.

SDSN Newsletter

Welcome to SDSN's April Newsletter!
Vatican Symposium on Climate Change
On April 28, 2015, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, SDSN, and Religions for Peace organized a scientific symposium on "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity." Leaders from science, major religions, business, civil society, and governments, including the President of Italy, attended the one day event. Pope Francis met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before the Secretary-General gave the opening address at the symposium. read more »
World Happiness Report 2015 Launched
On April 23, 2015, the SDSN released the third edition of the World Happiness Report. The report explores how happiness differs by age, gender, and across regions; looks at how happiness and well-being metrics fit into the post-2015 agenda; and examines the neuroscience of happiness. On April 24, 2015, the SDSN hosted an all-day workshop on happiness and well-being data and research directions. The expert workshop was followed by a public launch event in New York. read more »
Updates on SDSN's Data for Development Initiatives
  • On April 17, 2015, SDSN launched a new report on Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development, which was prepared jointly with more than 15 organizations. The report estimates a total of $1 billion per year is required to monitor the SDGs each year, with up to $200 million required in ODA on top of current commitments. The report was launched at a high-level event during the IMF/World Bank Spring meeting in Washington D.C. 
  • With the Bertelsmann Foundation, the OECD, Eurostat, PARIS21, and several National and Regional Networks, SDSN organized a technical workshop on tracking the SDGs in OECD countries.
  • SDSN and IUSSP co-hosted a meeting entitled "Harnessing the Data Revolution for Development: Issues in the design and monitoring of SDG indicators” at the Cartagena Data Festival. 
  • SDSN also presented its work on Data for Development at the Board meeting of PARIS21.

Some Laske rehash

I've posted on these before, but they came up again in the FB IPS discussion:

I was re-reading some Ning IPS posts on Otto Laske, like this one and the one following it when he responds to Michael Commons. A few excerpts:

"And while conceptual clarifications can help, if all the theory does is to 'pin down' a person 'at' at s
tage or 'between' stages (as most stage theories do), then we have already lost the dialectics that is relevant here."

"This is also demonstrated by logical ('closed system') thinking being overcome, eventually, by 'post-'formal thinking or dialectical thinking (you say 'metasystematic' which is close but not the same as dialectical, in my view). I call this property of systems to be pervaded by absences their negativity (to speak with Bhaskar), and this absence will eventually catch up with systems (including theories) – as it does with the real world, too -- and make it break down or be seen more clearly as limited (which is the same thing, one ontological, the other epistemological)."

"I am also concerned with effects of systems on human agents because systems are typically used to classify, constrain, and subdue individuals, often with the pretension of 'helping' them (as in 'developmental coaching')."

"Now, when you look into this non-identical further, you come upon exactly those ABSENCES I spoke about above, gaps that changed thinking or real change will fill – there would be no change without absences pervading reality. This then leads to the distinction Bhaskar makes between 'reality' and 'actuality' where all that the sciences deal with is actuality but never reality which is a deeper concept."

"So, I guess I am looking for a developmental science – not just of humans – that can cope with Absences and is dialectical enough not to mistake actuality (which is transitory) for reality (which is violently transitory)."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What are postformal operations anyway?

Continuing discussion from this FB IPS thread on metatheory.

Me: A few questions. Does one have to speak AQALingus to be considered integral? Or even frame things with metatheories? Can someone or something be integral without this framing? Does metatheory = integrality? Or even postformal cognition?

Mark:  Thank you for those questions, Edwyrd (I was starting to feel alienated without them ). I've engaged in some debate with David and others around these questions - since David's a patient and very thoughtful advocate of aqal, and probably would say, yes, at least implicitly aqal growth and understanding will accompany integral calibration, though I don't agree (not to suggest I have an alternative, so in this sense I don't really disagree either, particularly if we read aqal more as spiritually robust metaphor grounded in substantive potentials via (meta)pragrmatic reflection on psychospiritual enactment). I don't feel one needs to use explicitly or implicitly aqal to be integral, yet the meaning of integral is historically (in the past few decades) linked to Wilber and also the key anthropocentric framing of evolution in Wilber - which is linked problematically to pscyhological development and these are in turn even more problematically linked to cultural and material development - is axiomatic/fundamental to his approach to what integral means. So if that goes, what's left, and how to make sense of it as integral? Others like Aurobindu could have nonhuman conceptions of evolution, but those would bust the linear presupposition of progress and also wouldn't necessarily pertain to immanent emergence (perhaps some weird transcendent eruption that has little to do with what's fathomable and orienting for our meta lenses). I think if we situate aqal as its own stream that may be not only complimented but fundamentally challenged by other models (without breeding ill regard and Earp-like responses that claim the other is dumb (not quite developed enough) to challenge aqal altogether) and best case scenario a profound radically different heterogeneous non-Wilber or even non-humancentric understanding of what's to-come may co-exist with aqal (and bring about changes to the latter, too), all in service to the building and refining of justice, goodness, truth, beauty, and creative surplus.

Me: Jennifer Gidley talks about the difference between research that identifies postformal operations (PFO) from examples of those that enact PFO. And that much of the research identifying PFO has itself "been framed and presented from a formal, mental-rational mode" (109). Plus those enacting PFO don’t "necessarily conceptualize it as such" (104), meaning the way those that identify it do, i.e., from a formal operational (FO) mode. Which is of course one of my key inquiries: Is the way PFO is identified through FO really just a FO worldview interpretation of what PFO might be? Especially since those enacting PFO disagree with the very premises of the FO worldview and its 'formally' dressed PFO? 

Alan Grayson on free trade & the TPP

Also see this link to sign his petition against TPP fast track.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Paving the Commons road

Continuing from this post. Also see this Ning IPS thread on the ongoing discussion.

One of the aspects of the Commons Scharmer highlights is the MITx program using a massive open online course format. It's a different approach to eduction that highlights P2P participation and collaboration for low to no cost. To reiterate his message, and a recent forum concern as to how integral can have an impact in the concrete world, join this movement that already exists.

We can retroactively try to understand it with our metatheories, but the latter are only relevant to the degree they feedback from and into the existing Commons instead of trying to pigeonhole the movement into metatheories' ofttimes rigid metaphysical categories. Or worse, just dismissing the Commons as some kind of irrelevant green meme and investing all our integral theory in so-called conscious capitalism.

We already have so engaged in this and the Ning IPS forum, where we enact open source P2P knowledge generation. So how do we engage and promote the other aspects of the Commons? And an important one: how do we move our P2P knowledge generation to a media format other than Facebook, one more in alignment with the Commons ethos?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Crime and punishment

Stewart on the similarities and differences between who gets punished for what crimes.

Scharmer on "the movement"

See this piece. A major theme is something I've been long harping upon. The movement he describes is the Commons.

"It's that gap between our individual consciousness and our collective impact that makes Rilke's words relevant today: we must change our lives. Okay, but how? By joining the movement. The movement already exists."

The President at the correspondents' dinner

Some really funny stuff here, and so funny because it's so accurate.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

William Black on the TPP

He nails President Obama hard in this piece, and deservedly so. A couple of excerpts:

"Obama stacked the committees to ensure that the CEOs’ lobbyists would completely dominate the secret drafting of TPP. And everyone in America know that the result of that has to be a Faux Trade agreement crafted to allow the CEOs to plunder with impunity."

"TPP, of course, is being sold through a full court press of the economists who brought us the financial crisis and the Great Recession and the multiple Great Depressions in Spain, Italy, and Greece. Their lie, as always, is that this travesty of special interest deals drafted overwhelmingly by corporate lobbyists represents 'free trade.' They first torture the language and truth before they torture the world."

Regressives are not only wrong

They are so blinded by their ideology that they can't even admit when their wrong in the face of overwhelming facts.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Senator Warren tells the President to put up or shut up

See this article. I really want to see the President respond to it. Senators Warren and Brown wrote a letter asking the President to make the full details of the TPP available so that we the people can have a dialog with our representatives before they vote on it. Seems reasonable enough. Even George W. Bush did so on a major trade deal with Latin America? Plus the fact on who supports the TPP and who doesn't says a lot. For it: Multi-national corporations and the Chamber of Commerce. Against it: organized labor, environmentalists and even some in the Tea Party. The thing has been written by the big corps for their own profit. And we're supposed to believe they give one shit about labor or the environment with their proven track record? Seriously Mr. President?

New Rules

Some really funny ones this week.

An oil lubricated blow job

Maher on the science deniers, and why they do it. Like a prostitute they suck it for money.

What the frack?

Stewart on the OK legislature banning towns from controlling fracking in their communities. This despite the scientific evidence that fracking is the cause of up to two earthquakes per day, when previously OK had two per year. We can't let the facts get in the way of industry, now can we?

Friday, April 24, 2015

The regressive sucker

Thom Hartmann often repeats the three elements of the GOP: the 1% who finance it, the governmental shills that lie and spin their support for them as somehow good for the rest of us, and the suckers on the base who believe the lies. This graphic highlights the suckers.

The relationship of relative to absolute

In a FB IPS post on transcendence I re-posted the following from another FB IPS thread.

Another way of approaching r/a terms is through basic categories and image schema. Recall that these prototypes are in the middle of classical categorical hierarchies, between the most general and the most particular. Basic categories are the most concrete way we have of relating to and operating within the environment. Thus both the more particular and more general categories are more abstract. And yet our usual way of thinking is that the more particular the category the more concrete or relative the object it represents and vice versa.

Robert Reich on powerlessness

See his FB post here. He's right, and this is most assuredly by design of the 1%. This is exactly where they want us so that we won't organize and revolt. This is why the turnout in the last election was the lowest in 70 years, exactly what they wanted. Reich is also right that the only way we can overcome this is to take our power back by organizing and getting active. When we do we make progress, like the increasing number of States legalizing marriage equality, marijuana and increased minimum wages. We must regain our hope by doing something about the situation, despite the ongoing and incessant battle to make us feel helpless. Otherwise our democracy will be lost for good.

Regressive agenda

Plain and simple. Senator Sanders has a way of cutting right to the chase.

Krugman on regressive zombies

See his article here. He calls the regressive Presidential candidate's idea zombies because ever after repeatedly being proven wrong they just won't die. Facts just do not make a dent in their ideology, which always trumps reality. One wants to raise the social security and Medicare eligibility age to 69, which would devastate millions. And yet doing so would save relatively money compared to the abundant money generated from making the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. The regressives have made many dire predictions about the Affordable Care Act, none of which have come true, often quite to the contrary. Supply-side, trickle down economics is still being touted by these dimwits despite a long history proving that it only works to create increasing income inequality. These folks just cannot see reality despite the facts in front of them.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

World Happiness Report 2015

See it at this link. Here are the top 10 countries. The US was #15.

1. Switzerland
2. Iceland
3. Denmark
4. Norway
5. Canada

George Lakoff: The embodiment hypothesis

Keynote address recorded March 14, 2015 at the inaugural International Convention of Psychological Science in Amsterdam.

My review of Waking, Being, Dreaming at Integral World

At this link. From the Prologue:

During a conference the Dalai Lama (DL) wonders aloud if states of consciousness, including the most subtle pure awareness, require a physical basis. This appears to be a new speculation on his part, and particularly striking because Tibetan Buddhism typically asserts that reincarnation is a fact and these refined states transcend the physical. He unabashedly admits that he doesn't know if such states require a body, no doubt shocking some of his more traditional flock.

Many scientists dismiss both the notion of pure awareness and that any awareness could exist without a body. Whereas many contemplatives scoff at the idea that such states are biologically based. Thompson doesn't find either view attractive. We should take seriously Buddhism's ancient study of the mind and consciousness, as well as western psychology and neuroscience. Both fill in the gaps in the others' knowledge base.

New Age nonsense

The following is from Cameron Freeman's FB post today. It reminds me of when I was a massage therapy student in southern CA in the mid 80s amidst all this positive thinking crap. In response I created an affirmation suited to that milieu: I am my Higher Selfish. Here's Cameron:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Senator Sanders' letter to the trade rep on TPP

See the letter here. He asks some reasonable questions, but we're not entitled to any answers?


Before we even consider relinquishing Congress’s Constitutional authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” to the executive branch, I would like you to respond to the following questions.

1)    The minimum wage in Vietnam is roughly 56 cents an hour.  It has been reported that Malaysia uses modern-day slave labor in its electronics industry. If the TPP goes into effect, do you have an estimate as to how many jobs in this country will be lost as American corporations move to Vietnam and Malaysia where they can pay workers less than $1 an hour?

2)    Right now, the TPP includes what is called an Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which would allow foreign investors the right to use international tribunals as a forum for seeking compensation for laws and regulations that impact their ability to profit from investments. For example, under an ISDS provision of an agreement, a French firm is suing Egypt under an international tribunal for raising its minimum wage. Uruguay and Australia are both being sued for imposing requirements on how tobacco products are packaged. Eli Lilly is suing Canada for $500 million for "violating its obligations to foreign investors under the North American Free Trade Agreement by allowing its courts to invalidate patents for two of its drugs." Transcanada is considering suing the U.S. under an international tribunal for refusing to approve the Keystone Pipeline. Quebec is being sued under an international tribunal for banning fracking.  After the TPP goes into effect, could a Federal, state, or local government be forced to pay compensation to a foreign company if an international tribunal rules that this company was prevented from earning an expected future profit due to environmental, labor, or consumer laws or regulations?

Lawrence Lessig on Senator Warren

And why she needs to be the next President of the United States.

Whom does our government serve?

Follow the money. The richest 0.01% gave 42% of political donations (i.e., bribery) in 2012.

Senator Warren responds to the President

See her blog post here for all the details and sign her petition here. A brief excerpt from the first link:

"The Administration says I’m wrong – that there’s nothing to worry about. They say the deal is nearly done, and they are making a lot of promises about how the deal will affect workers, the environment, and human rights. Promises – but people like you can’t see the actual deal. For more than two years now, giant corporations have had an enormous amount of access to see the parts of the deal that might affect them and to give their views as negotiations progressed. But the doors stayed locked for the regular people whose jobs are on the line.

Hartmann interviews a conservative on the TPP

Interesting discussion of why a conservative should also be against this travesty.

The Empathic Civilization

A past hit come back.

President Obama is wrong on TPP, not Senator Warren

The President pushed back, calling Warren wrong. And yet he can't say how she's wrong, because the TPP is being negotiated in secret with no details openly available. We're supposed to just trust the President on this, and the multi-national corporate agents working on the deal. And yet we do know about some of those details as released by WikiLeaks. And those facts support Warren's, Sanders' and every other progressive's legitimate concerns about it. And we also already know the results of the other trade deals like NAFTA, which also had the same rhetoric and similar conditions and ended up being disasters for workers and the environment.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Regressives steal from the poor and give to the rich

Them's the facts. The regressives in Congress recently voted to cut food stamps to the poor and their children in order to pay for the huge tax break to the .2%. It's a fact that cannot be denied, except by only the most regressive suckers fed lies by the regressive governmental leaders in the pockets of the regressive .2%.

Star Trek in 2014

Stewart brings down Cheney

With Cheney's own words and logic directed at President Obama. I guess Cheney forgot what he himself has done or said? No, he knows these facts won't make a dent in his stupid base who have been trained to ignore them. For for the rest of us with a brain, highly entertaining and true.


Their team dance last night. To skip the package and go right to the dancing, it's at 2:35.

Nastia & Derek

By far the best dance of the night on DWTS. But the judges are being way too hard on her because she is by far the best dancer on the show. Two of the judges actually gave her an 8 for this performance. Even if what they're saying is true, and based on how easy they're scoring the others, they should have given her at the very least all 9s.

Who needs reasonable gun laws?

From these stats there is no guessing involved.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Regressive ideological absurdity

David Korten on the TPP

See this article for the details. The bullet points:

1. Favoring local ownership is prohibited

2. Corporations must be paid to stop polluting

3. Three lawyers will decide who’s right in secret tribunals

4. Speculative money must remain free

5. Corporate interests come before national ones





If Eisenhower were around today

This Republican would be aghast at what has become of his Party. From the statement below what has now become pretty much the Republican platform Eisenhower considered a stupid fringe in his day. I hear a grave rolling over.

Bill Maher on the 4/20 holiday

Selective image schema and limited worldviews

Following up on the last post, following are some of my responses to this IPS discussion, also posted on the FB IPS discussion:

Another point Edwards makes in that thread, one relevant to other FB IPS discussions on the imposition of UL structural levels on other zones, is the following from this post:

"AQAL metatheory has focused almost exclusively on the stage-based approach where development is seen as the holarchical emergence of qualitatively new forms of complexity and capacities. This is, what I call, the developmental holarchy lens. However, this is only one among many other explanatory lenses that might be used to describe and understand transformation.... We need to combine it with and differentiate it from many other lenses if we are to see how stage-based development aligns with other aspects of transformation."

Along the line of other lenses missing from AQAL, another point in that linked post is that these other lenses

The role of meta-theory

An oldie from the archive:

Part of the problem, if not the entirety, is that metatheory is trying to do what it is not capable of doing, at least according to Mark Edwards. He notes in "Where's the method to our integral madness"* that

"Whereas theory is developed from the exploration of empirical events, experiences and 'first-order' concepts, metatheory emerges from the direct investigation of other theory, models and 'second-order' concepts.

"Integral metatheory building is based on the analysis of extant theory and does not deal with empirical data. Consequently, it cannot validly make conclusions about empirical data based on its metatheorising. If it does so, it is stepping outside its realm of authority. To put this in another way, metatheory is primarily about other theory and not about the prediction or evaluation of first-order empirical data."

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Catalan Integrated Cooperative

The Catalan Integrated Cooperative (CIC) is an incredible project showing how the Commons works and is working on an entirely different ethos and socio-economics. Note the integration therein. This is a fine example of (one kind of) integral postmetaphysical spirituality.

Inherent teleology not required

A post blast from the past:

On this last point, kennilingus and the model of hierarchical complexity (MHC) assume a teleology. For the Lingam it is a morphogenetic gradient from involution that pulls evolution up toward it, like a strange attractor. For the MHC it is both Platonic ideal forms and Aristotelian universal categories. Both require that the lower be subsumed in the higher, and both assume that this higher is the real goal to which evolution is moving. Both require essences.

Note how the referenced system dynamicists still have a virtual dimension where strange attractors create paths which guide actual occasions. (Note the plural, attractors, so that depending on conditions different paths can be taken.) They seem like essences in that way but their attractors are entirely immanent, i.e., there is no essential or ideal dimension already in existence guiding this process with a goal 'in mind' (or in spirit, if you must). And this virtual dimension is intimately entangled with the actual domain, which provides the environmental conditions whereby the virtual can express. Under different environmental conditions a suobject will manifest in different ways. Any particular manifestation is not the way it is supposed to be according to a divine plan, or even some rational notion of ideal categories.

So how does this relate to psychological levels of development?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Senator Sanders sets pinhead O'Reilly straight

He shreds the pinhead's ideological assumption about democratic socialism.

Robert Reich on the TPP

Contact your representatives to stop this travesty.

Senator Warren on a false choice

From her email:

"For too long, the opponents of financial reform have cast the debate as an argument between the pro-regulation camp and the pro-market camp. They generally put Democrats in the first camp and Republicans in the second. But that so-called “choice” gets it all wrong. Rules are not the enemy of markets. Without some basic rules and accountability, financial markets don’t work. People get ripped off, risk-taking skyrockets, and markets fall apart. Rolling back the rules or firing the cops can be profoundly anti-market.

Republicans claim – loudly and repeatedly – that they support competitive markets, but their approach to financial regulation is pure crony capitalism. It helps the rich and the powerful protect and expand their wealth and their power – and leaves everyone else behind. This week, I gave a big policy speech where I presented ways we can promote competition, innovation, and safety in financial markets. The speech was long and wonky, but it really boils down to two principles:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hillary's fake populism

From this article:

"At launch she talked a streak of anti-elitist rhetoric that was taken seriously for a few days, until the punditry took the temperature of her populism and declared to it be the right kind: the fake kind, the purely strategic kind. The congoscenti even seemed to applaud Clinton for sounding enough like Elizabeth Warren to preclude the necessity of the actual Elizabeth Warren running for president, Warren being the wrong kind of populist, the real kind. The punditry should embrace the real idealists and hammer the fakes. Instead we get this sleazy process in which the fakes are called smart and yet still allowed to market themselves as the real thing. It would be nice, for once, if we did things in reverse."

Who gets punished?

And which crimes are worse? Seems the worse the crime then punishment reduces to zero. That is, if said criminals can afford to pay you off.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Regressives give tax break to the top 0.2%

See this story. And yet these same regressives are cutting social programs en masse to pay for the lost revenue of  tax cuts for those who don't need it. Yeah, they care about income inequality all right. Watch what they do, not what they say.

The food and health industry blinders

Warren's financial agenda

Continuing from this post, another article on Warren's speech laying out her agenda for financial reform. See it for the details:

"Her ideas fit into four basic categories: first, getting tougher on bad financial actors, particularly big banks, and presenting them with actual legal accountability for malfeasance. Second, Warren outlined how to change the basic structure of the country’s largest financial institutions so their very existence doesn’t threaten the economy nor taxpayer money via inevitable bailouts. Third, she outlined how to change tax policies that incentivize financial risk-taking and instability. And finally, Warren called for tougher regulations on the shadow-banking sector that was a huge contributor to the 2008 crash and which remained largely untouched by Dodd-Frank."

Center for a New American Dream roundup

Join New Dream THIS Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. EDT (10:00 a.m. PDT) for our free Get2gether Roundup call!
These conversations are the place for ongoing inspiration for New Dream Get2gether teams, from sharing your progress and challenges to getting ideas, tips, and resources for supporting and growing your community efforts.
This month, we'll be kicking off our Spring Cleaning Swaps campaign. Joining us will be New Dream Board member Holly Minch and Seth Yon from Greener Grads. They will share ideas for some great swap events and give tips on how to host a successful swap in your community.
We'll also get a chance to check out all the cool organizing resources on the new Get2gether platform.


Anna Awimbo
Director, Collaborative Communities Program
Center for a New American Dream

Senator Warren on corrupt government regulators

She's not only on the case of a rigged financial system but also those who are supposed to police it. See the below video where she rightly reams said regulators for not bringing criminal prosecutions for blatantly criminal activity. She soundly refutes the spurious regressive argument that regulations are anti-business, noting that legitimate rules make markets run well for everyone, not just the few. She says the real argument is between crony or competitive capitalism. And the former has pretty much bought its way out of trouble and into the bank accounts of said regulators in a despicably corrupt system.