Benjamin Franklin’s 13 steps to moral perfection (an 18th century concept of self that is no longer an ontological precept in our skeptical times)

One of my all-time heroes, Benjamin Franklin, was 20 when he designed a list of 13 virtues that he felt could lead him to moral perfection.

This is an interesting read about Franklin’s virtues.  CLICK HERE

Personally, I appreciated the usefulness of the chart illustrating Franklin’s virtues in comparison with Bushido and Aristotelean virtues.

I think we have given up on the Enlightenment ideal of moral perfection, but at least it’s worth some consideration!  Here’s the list:

  1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation. Avoid extremes.
  10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
  11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

 

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Konnakkol Music

TO AM304 Students

This week some of you expressed interest in the music that was being played before class.

It is called Konnakkol and the recording I played was from the Karnataka College of Percussion.  I will try to play more examples of the College’s recordings in the future.

If you want to know more about Konnakkol then be sure to click here and here

Is there a way to include Konnakkol as a form of multimedia?

Have a pleasant weekend.

My reflections on Monsanto, the havoc and the rumors

Recently I have been reflecting deeply about my previous work experience many years ago for the giant corporation called Monsanto.  In 1994, a personal time of underemployment and high risk taking by myself, I found a way to be paid for making an educational and promotional documentary in the mountains of central Mindanao island in the Philippines.  For me, at that time, this was a good thing and I was happy it was happening.  My job was to produce a documentary about the herbicide, Roundup, as it was being used in a commercial reforestation project in Bukidnon province in the southern Philippines.  I availed of scholarly and scientific research they gave me at the time (1994) to develop a creative short video for the sales and promotion purposes of Monsanto’s offices in Singapore.

Fast forward to now–Now that the current lawsuit is happening against Monsanto and I am able to see other perspectives and information, I am deeply concerned about the weakened ethics of my previous professional work for that company.  I can’t undo the past but I can reflect upon its meaning so that I can learn, reflect and change.  I don’t know right now what is the right answer or most wise response, but I am questioning what happened and what I did at the time, albeit unknowingly..

I was convinced in 1994 that it was OK to use Roundup in commercial forestry and other agro–businesses, so I wrote and produced a good video for them at a bargain rate because I believed in the product and its purpose, plus I wanted to work on location in Mindanao.  No other video producer in their right mind would venture into Bukidnon as I did at the time.  I took my gear and gladly ventured there.  Monsanto paid me to live my dreams.

I worked on the Monsanto project in 1994.  I never imagined Roundup in a retail or household setting and to this day I remain convinced that glyphosate, when used in moderation, is basically OK for its primary purposes in the killing of weeds.  I don’t believe it causes an unreasonable risk beyond what any other chemical poison would pose.  I wouldn’t drink or inhale the stuff but there were rumors that it would be safe to do so.  Regardless of rumors, it is a weed killer and not a beverage.  There is a gap in my understanding of the current case against Monsanto.and how that 289 million dollar amount was arrived, but I understand the threshold was to prove that Roundup was a contributing factor.  They guy describes it blowing in his face as part of his job–his employer should be crucified!.

In the current case it sounds like a typical example of labor exploitation by government and corporate entities, where employers subject workers to unsafe or uncontrolled risks.

I need to post this article for my future reference

https://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/monsantos-good-bad-pr-problem/

Is Gross National Happiness a form of GDP?

I am learning about Gross National Happiness as the guiding philosophy of Bhutan, so that search probably led me to this amazing long term chart of GDP.  I guess we in the USA are on an upward trajectory and nearing highs in terms of GDP.  What does GNH have to do with GDP?  Is this the end, are we at a high or top?  Just like happy folks will do, please enjoy the happy days of GDP highs while it lasts.

180726082100-chart-state-of-the-economy-gdp-growth-780x439.jpg

My estimate is for a jump to the upside over time and we will experience all new highs, in terms of GDP.

In the West we equate rise of GDP in terms of happiness.  But I am learning and interested in Gross National Happiness which is a different measure.  I suppose a strong GDP makes me happy in some ways.  It’s good to be happy. So GNH and GDP are symbiotically related.

 

Labor exploitation in Palos Verdes Estates: Where is a Union when you need one?

A revolving door is a common phrase to signify a repeating pattern of random hiring and firing of workers. Oftentimes a revolving door is enshrouded in secrecy and all kinds of unfairness.  I am referring specifically to the problems facing a nonunion high school baseball coach at Palos Verdes High.  That coach is facing the revolving door.  However, this coach’s particular problem appears over and over in all sports in all schools where there are “Parents with Resources.”

I am riled up about a revolving door for several high school baseball coaches at PVHS, but quickly my thoughts critique an even larger problem, statewide in scope, a bad situation facing all nonunion employees of school districts.

The fact is a revolving door for sports coaches at PVHS and beyond.  This fact is entirely and indisputably bad for male and female student athletes.  It must be changed.

The revolving door starts at PVHS with a lack/absence of a Grievance procedure for disgruntled parents.  “Get a lawyer and make threats,” that is the process, now.  PVHS makes itself vulnerable to “Parents With Resources” by cowering to unilateral complaints about whatever can be contrived, followed by threats to cajole the weakling school district (PVPUSD), followed soon thereafter with the coach being “leg go.”  The story is repeated over and over at PVHS, in many sports for many years.

No truth, no fairness, no rights, nothing in writing, possibly ruining a young coach’s career as well.  It’s a reflection of poor management at the most basic level AND it is very damaging to the advancement and growth of student athlete learners.

Palos Verdes Unified School District is one of many districts that are big exploiters of highly-qualified “walk on” labor statewide, and PVHS is an example of due process denied for all nonunion coaches.  “Parents with resources” are the problem, nurtured by weak leadership.

PROPOSED SOLUTIONS:  A proper and relevant Grievance procedure is lacking at PVPUD, with nil procedures for all parents to follow at PVHS (and beyond).   The solution requires that top administrators not succumb to the noisiest parents with resources.  Grievance procedures would ensure fairness and protect the District as it tries to achieve understanding and resolution of a complaint.  I recommend the following steps:

1) Parents and Students fill out a basic form that contractually promises their willingness to submit to in-house arbitration of disputes at the outset;

2) Parents and Students are compelled to put their complaint in writing and the accused coach is compelled to respond to the complaint;

3) Parents and Students are compelled to face each other.  Transparency should be the norm and intended to protect all parties from unfairness.  The accused coach has the right to face his/her accusers who are witnesses against him/her; and

4) PVPUSD Administrators from top to bottom need to be stronger and smarter in protecting its workers.  Listen to the majority and Do what is right and fair.  Have a process that is simple and transparent.  These are the best solutions I can propose.

CONCLUSION

I am interested to make noise that makes PVHS and PVPUSD a better place to work and learn.  Right now there’s a destructive revolving door for nonunion coaches.

Sign the petition and join 200 other parents, coaches, student athletes, and teachers who demand equal rights for nonunion coaches at PVHS and in high school programs throughout California.  Please make a statement or pose a question.  Thanks.

SIGN THE PETITION