Organic vs Conventional

How can we trust product labels?

Some say there’s really no difference between organic and conventional food. How can you know that you are not being tricked by marketing and cheated by businesses pretending to be what they are not? We can’t trust systems and people enough to know if something is really true.

I sympathise with the claim's cynicism and support most of the reasoning, but I don’t subscribe to the necessary conclusion. Here’s why.

What am I doing in my life?

Thinking Ahead

“What am I doing in my life?” is a question most of us have asked ourselves. Yet when someone else asks you the same question, it can strike a different nerve. What is the meaning of a “career” and “effort”? Where does love, and talent, and art, and unappealing narcissism come from? The truth is that most people have no idea, nor what the deeper meaning of their life is, nor what they want out of it; thus the initial question gets buried for fear of its vast, perhaps unknowable answer, and this psychological domination demands from it deeper consideration.

Anti-Social Media

Virtual Reality

How much does social media matter? Plenty, if you want to be "hip". What is the value of social media in a world increasingly obsessed with fame and image, when we are in fact being made lonelier because of it? We have grown socially disabled by paying excess attention to vanity in cybernetic worlds, unable to step outward to free ourselves of the concern of how others perceive us. Our minds have been dislocated by a competition for perfection and the confusion between our real personalities and our virtual ones.

Two Wests [Part 1]

Cultural Perspectives

What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to be European? Does it matter? Is it reasonable to define any person by their place of birth? Not necessarily, but the effect of cultural norms on personality are significant and it's important to recognise that if our goal is to improve our understanding of reality and become better people within ourselves and our shared relationships – to advance our societies – the mere existence of any competing cultural identities or ideas, does not mean that both are worthy of equal value; but maturing in parallel and learning from both societies is surely better than competing as rivals?

The Illusion of Free Will [Part 1]

Introduction

Greater humility and a potentially permanent obliteration of arrogance are some of the foremost achievements of understanding the illusion of free will. It is indeed a worthy pinnacle, leads to higher compassion, deeper moral empathy, and an all-round more realistic view of the individual in an apparently meaningless cosmos.

What We Eat

"If it isn't healthy to eat, it isn't food." - Jan

The connection between people and their food choices reflects an emotionally biased and often unethical relationship.

Don't you just love your grandmother's apple pie recipe? Mmm isn't it just so delicious, you could eat it every day! She always made it and lived till 90, so it's obviously good for you! ... Hold on. Is it really healthy or environmentally sustainable? "Oh shut up", you say, "Live and let live. Life is short! Who cares about that? It's just one apple pie!"

Well, about that one apple pie...

Land Ownership

What does it mean to own land?

What are the effects of land ownership on people, their health, and the environment? Developed nations' agriculture industries prioritise wealth above health, eschewing the many benefits found in subsistence farming.

Solutions to Poaching

How Can We Stop Poaching?

Education is key among solutions to many environmental problems and the issue of poaching and illegal animal trade would certainly benefit. Education has been shown to reduce poverty, which in turn reduces reliance on illegal activities such as poaching. Better education generally leads to more advanced, science-based knowledge and thus to better medicine, which would mean less support for alternative medicines that utilize the body parts of endangered animals. A concern here however is that education is a relatively slow process and this matter requires urgent attention.

Pharmaceutical Slavery

Take care to be healthy.

How can we break the mass slavery to pharmaceutical profiteers and the selfish misery they cause to millions, as their inherent desire for higher income overshadows their feigned interest in health and wellbeing?

The Relevance of Science

Science & Nature: The Question of Relevance

I'm going to start by answering this from an analytical angle. Understanding the basic principles of science allows us to see more clearly how problems arise and how best to resolve them. We must begin at the roots, bottom up, from atoms to biosphere. All science is not just relevant but essential, and it is all linked together; science in general, is interdisciplinary.

Open-mindedness

Rational Open Discussion is Progressive

Sometimes presenting an idea or philosophy about the world can appear so rigid and closed-minded in the attempt to explain it. This is just a short post to remind readers that I am and have always been very open minded and gladly welcome ideas, thoughts, comments and contentions to my posts, to further my knowledge of others' views and of the world at large. Open discussion is itself a path to progress.

Science vs Religion

Scientific Truth in a World of Ideas

Science doesn’t necessarily claim what is true, it just keeps providing reasonable evidence for what is most likely false, including science itself. There couldn’t possibly be a better system available for propagating intelligence and progress than one which is prepared to acknowledge and disclose mistakes and self-correct.

Nature & Politics

The Effect of Politics on The Environment

Today in our world there is an overwhelming sense of chaos in every arena; and though science is immune to it by definition, once it connects to politics and ethics, there appears to be no deadline or limit to the obstacles and distractions placed intentionally by the greedy, self-centred and misinformed to keep suspending the urgency to act on the protection of nature.