Wednesday, June 3, 2015


[2] Suffering is the basic element that makes up the negative valence of affective phenomena.

Merriam Webster
:  [1] the state or experience of one that suffers

A brief look at the days' news headlines, and it is not difficult to see; the impact of war, the struggle to pull people out of poverty, deteriorating environment, from glaciers to endangered species, disease, famine etc. And though the two definitions above both suggest that suffering is a human experience, not until Wikipedias' second explanation (listed above) do they infer suffering in the boarder sense of things not human as well.  This is the context in which this article is written.

This morning I woke up at approximately 4:00 a.m. EST, disturbed by the matter of suffering; different images and thoughts entering my mind about suffering from a historical perspective to modern day.  For over an hour I could not shake the visions and thoughts from my mind.  I don't generally have a propensity towards these thoughts, but they arise periodically; it is not an emotional struggle in the sense that it disturbs my thought process, but more along the lines of an overwhelming desire for a different sense of the human experience as it relates to all things that result in, interact with or are some part based on human actions as a causal factor of suffering.

After reflecting on a statement captured from a food critic on a local Boston radio show, a rather odd source to be sure; it helped create some context for this approach for suffering.  The essence of the food critic's argument was that farm-to-table  is a way of life and not a propaganda technique to get people or consumers in the restaurant.  We cannot use propaganda to end suffering. Authentically doing something about suffering actually holds  value.  Perhaps that is not the most productive way to put it, because there are multiple agents of change who "want to do something about it", but where does the real change occur?  What type of campaign, commitment, determination, endurance and perseverance would it take to ensure suffering comes to an end?  Can we achieve that?  Authenticity however, may suggest something all together different, a more active role in ending suffering.

By saying or assuming ending suffering is not possible, not related to personal injuries of course, then why would we attempt to change the course of events at all?  Does that result in some sort of fatalistic view that there is no hope.  Yet and still, even the sound of the word "hope", brings with it an air of never-going-to-happeness.  It is that very sense of jargon, and hyperbole that often results in the autonomic response of head-nodding.  Out of the jargon jar, and into a more productive script may be one possibility; that with a lot of will power, political effort and fundamental shift in the way humanity thinks about suffering and the ability to end it, that we perhaps will emerge on the other side.

This article will begin a short journey into my exploration of suffering, and what we will do, are doing and can do to end it.  My initial thoughts are that it requires a never ending effort, the kind of effort business people put into running their company, but with a different objective.

All of this begins with the belief that suffering exceeds all other priorities and that it is not limited to people, but animals, the environment or anything else that is subject to virulent exploitation by the human species.  Ending suffering is a way of life.

I look forward to discussions and insights.  I can also be reached on twitter @scotlandwillis

Monday, May 4, 2015

Freedom & Liberation

Mans greatest ambition is not to be better than anyone else, mans greatest ambition is to live free; it is the sense of freedom that comes from doing something that no one else has done--can do, that liberates one from all others and all other attachments; it is why we marvel as what we have not yet seen. Live free or die

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sex in a Series

The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality states that "Women are more likely than men to feel that a poor sex life is an unfortunate, but separate part of the couple’s relationship. Men are more likely to feel that a poor sex life undermines the entire relationship."

While some of their research goes back to the late 1990's, it is difficult to believe the full breadth of this research.  Times have changed, in a variety of ways.  There is research that the physical strength of women is increasing more rapidly than that of men; but that is just a semblance of what changes are occurring in our society among women and men.

Just as womens' physical state is advancing so to is there thinking.  And this brings us to the topic in this article.

This is completely non-scientific in nature, merely an opportunity to share a few thoughts.

As times have changed regarding sexuality and the liberation of women's commitment requirements, sex for women seems also to have emerged in a whole new light.  Women are no longer locked down due to advances in the medical industry i.e. The Pill.  Other advances in the Day After product, also allow women to have more control over the outcome of pregnancy.  Controls such as these also play a role in what opportunities women have; in the workplace, among competitors etc.

Emerging on the other side, women of today could very easily feel differently about the role of sex in a relationship. Most importantly perception of a poor sex life with a partner has also evolved.  Television programs seem to be an accurate reflection about the more carefree nature of female sexuality, e.g. Sex In The City, promiscuity, and sexuality experiences for pleasure rather than commitment.  This is not a broad statement of the character of women today, but rather a suggestion that the opportunities for vastly different perspectives on how women are expected to behave is different.  Rather than this being a bad thing, it is really just a thing-- call it evolution of the woman.

With downturns in religious commitments, increase in divorce rates and a broader length of time women are remaining unwed, all seem to trend towards a more independently minded woman.  And it seems that the line between women and men's belief that sex undermines the entire relationship, might be thinning.

I welcome the change, not in terms of a value system of ones integrity but rather the equanimity between men and women.  Sure we are different physiological creatures wired differently psychology, but what lies over the horizon for society can only be great, a place where the other is challenged by the privileges of control.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Germanwings / Lufthansa Solutions

One Possible Solution

Lufthansa Flight Solutions
There is a solution to the locked door. In the mid 1990s Electronic Data Systems, Hughes Electronics and GM developed OnStar; this satellite system could be used as a secondary backup for extreme scenarios such as with the Lufthansa/ Germanwings flight. This remotely controlled apparatus, would be engage by a pilot, face with the current situation of Germanwings. 

The pilot would carry an emergency warning mechanism that could transmit a signal to the radio control tower over the geographic area in which it is flying;  It could employ biometric recognition, issued by the airline carrier so that no one else could steal it and use the device.  With today's transmitters and nanotechnology, I believe this is quite possible.

Digital Globe launched one of the most powerful satellites in Aug. 2014; this device would seem to have the necessary power to engage in such a task. It is a fine line however as you risk infiltration (hackers) but a type of firewall could be developed and the main control would reside in each air traffic control tower under the NTSB. Nonetheless, there are potential applications for use of this technology.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Where to Begin, Climate Points

What is the matter with the planet, what is the matter with humans?  This is the subject of the last GENN) blog.  My goal is to keep L4A focused on writing about controversial matters that should be given critical thought.
article I will write pertaining to the environment on this blog.  Not to worry, all future articles will be published on Global Environmental News Network (

That being said, there are a few reasons for this shift.  First there is a great debate over what is causing climate change, and for some, whether or not climate change is real or myth.  This leads me to say initially, Greek Mythology, that is myth.  But my preference is to not stand on the soapbox, rather make a couple of important points.  Second the challenge is not whether or not climate change exists, but that we a humans have strongly held cultures stratified by the people we interact with causing us to believe one thing or another.

Several scientists and other researchers as well as universities have chosen to delve into this matter of cultural struggles among people-- they call it cultural cognition; it is in many ways linked to risk decision science.  I won't get too deep into this subject until a later moment in time.  Suffice it to say that our internal cultural battles often combat that of science.  In other instances, science cognition theory, asserts that individuals' rejection of climate change results from a type of disbelief due to the level of scientific explanation, knowledge and technical-- perhaps because they are overwhelmed.

Whether it is climate scientist (science factor) or ones' social in group (social cognition factor), the greatest challenge is to shift the way in which people think, to one that is persuasive in what they believe.  Herein lies the focus.

It will then be my effort, to help shift that people believe, not through generating threats or bullying scare tactics, but by offering cogent reasoning, examples, and dialogue as a means to engage individuals who oppose.  I find it necessary to befriend in order to engage opposing viewpoints.  You cannot become part of an in group as long as your cultural span is completely outside that of your opponents.  For this reason the strategies involving risk decision science and methodologies will be important.  There is no intention to mislead or haze ones perspective, nor threaten their cultural assertions, but appeal to what is most important as a way to open the doors of engagement.

Be Well