Money as medium of exchange

One of the roles of money is to be a medium of exchange. This is usually explained in contrast to the barter system. Bartering is to exchange one type of good for another without the use of money. The problem usually pointed out is that a unit of one good is not equivalent to another unit of good. Clearly, trading a cow for a dog is not the same thing. And you may not want ten dogs for the one cow. Continue reading

How to slow down the destruction of the planet

Today is the nine anniversary of Sustainability Dharma and me blogging. This post is in part a celebration of this event. I am not sure how many original followers I have left but thank you for reading. Let’s hope we can save our demise.

You have heard it before that we are comsuming more than the earth is renewing the resources. Industrialization is one reason for this. The efficiency with which a small number of individuals can produce a large amount of products is staggering. Think logging. Cutting down a tree took a lot more effort than it did a hundred ago. So when we say economical we don’t just mean efficiency by the end-user but also the producer. Now multply that by the staggering population we have now and you will understand nothing in this world is going to slow consumption except reduction per person and a reduction of the population.

Continue reading

Thay hospitalised

Prayers for Thay who has been hospitalised from a brain haemorrhage in recent days. This is a reminder that no one free from suffering least of all this writer.

“Haruki Murakami says Japan ignoring WWII, Fukushima role”

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has chided his country for shirking responsibility for its World War II aggression and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in an interview published Monday.

Speaking to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, the 65-year-old author said: “No one has taken real responsibility for the 1945 war end or the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. I feel so.” “After the war, it was eventually concluded that no one was wrong,” said Murakami of the pervasive attitude in Japan.

Japanese people have come to consider themselves as “victims” of the war, he added.

Murakami, one of Japan’s best known writers who has repeatedly been tipped as a future Nobel Literature laureate, said that it was natural for China and the Koreas to continue to feel resentment towards Japan for its wartime aggressions.

“Fundamentally, Japanese people tend not to have an idea that they were also assailants, and the tendency is getting clearer,” he said.

Japan’s lack of repentance over its behaviour in the first half of the 20th century continues to strain relations with regional neighbours.

Murakami also said Japan did not seriously pursue who was really responsible for the 2011 crisis at Fukushima – when powerful earthquake and tsunami caused a reactor meltdown and radiation leaks – choosing instead to blame the disaster on uncontrollable natural events.

“I’m afraid that it can be understood that the earthquake and tsunami were the biggest assailants and the rest of us were all victims. That’s my biggest concern.” Murakami’s latest novel “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” was released in Europe and the United States this summer.

He lost out on this year’s Nobel to Patrick Modiano, a historical novelist who writes about France’s painful experience of Nazi occupation.

Originally from Straits Times.

A Battery With A Twenty Year Lifespan …

It is all very well to produce a battery that will last 20 years. But is not that useless if your equipment lasts only three, maybe four years maximum? It is like having a heart built to last five-hundred when the rest of your body breaks down in 100.

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi

It is a shame that the Japanese people did not get the Peace Prize for Article 9 of the Constitution. But having said that Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi are far more deserving of the Award since they have inspired and at the same time done a lot more for the world. If the Japanese want a Peace Prize they would need to do a lot more than just make a petition.

Things to be done

There are things to be done and things to avoid. Don’t waste even a moment for life is too short.

Non-attachment

Kitano Gempo, abbot of Eihei temple, was ninety-two years old when he passed away in the year 1933. He endeavored his whole life not to be attached to anything. As a wandering mendicant when he was twenty he happened to meet a traveler who smoked tobacco. As they walked together down a mountain road, they stopped under a tree to rest. The traveler offered Kitano a smoke, which he accepted, as he was very hungry at the time.

Continue reading

Nature, Darwin, natural selection

1.
I’d like to begin this three-section mini-essay with the concept of nature. If we think about it nature, by our misconceived conception, really is a space where things interact without the human intervention or existence. Thus the definition is one of absence of the human. It is also one of binary and opposition. In this sense, then, to be human is to be unnatural. But at exactly what point does the nature end and the human begin? To be more precise this is not a question of where but one of when.

Some time in history, or rather existence, we became aware of ourselves and began to define the self as apart from nature. Thus definition of nature and man came into being simultaneously. What once was one entity is now two by the act of defining, and no more.

2.
It would not have been easy for Charles Darwin to have decided to publish Origin of Species. He would have had the entire history of The Christian West to contend with. Even his family particularly his wife harboured doubts even though she was supportive. This proposal would not and could not have been taken lightly. The suggestion that humans are related to chimps and apes when until then we are said to have been the creation of the Creator, a discourse which unequivocally left little room for alternative possibilities. Such was Darwin’s time.

In essence Man (and it was mostly the male of the species who controlled the discourse) was the force behind the artificial rhetoric. This still-very-lost-gender of this species spends most of its time coming up with new versions of the story, the new paradigms. And this continues even today. For stories are necessary. The space must be filled, so to speak, with something other than a void.

3.
The story of Nature, then, is one in which we are still separate from. But if we are indeed the continuation of the long march of evolution (note: another story) then we must be the part of The Story of Nature. Thus the destruction we reek upon the place we call home, the place we share and interact with the other life forms is as natural as it is possible. The story must mean we are like a cancer (more: another story) killing off what is weak only to make the system a stronger more resilient one for the future, whatever it may be.