Ethics – A Snapshot

This post is a blog I made instead of posting to a comment thread on Facebook. Trying to feed that monster a bit less on a daily basis.

As far as ethics are concerned the main thing that I get hung up on is the question – “Where is our firm ground to stand on?”

We live in a world of collapsing and shifting values and virtues. Terrence used the term once “balkanization of epistimology” and I think this plays heavily into it.

In Man’s Search for Meaning the author goes in depth on this topic from his personal perspective as a holocaust survivor. With so much suffering, how can we make heads or tales of this life, and what we are to do with this life.

IMHO We can honestly say things like, “I don’t think people should do harm to other people or animals.” But can we say that this is a universalizable commandment? A Moral Imperative?

I think it is hard to get there. Best I can tell E. Kant, a prolific ethicist and philosophy, was positive that if we can universalize something, then it is ethically ok. I’m not so sure. There are plenty of religious and philosophical traditions that I wouldn’t want to say are doing things ethically wrong.

They are doing it differently. I may disagree, I may be amused, but this is my personal interaction with the thing.

Sam Harris’s critiques of how rough Islam can be, hit some solid points, but he is really just making an argument. If it is correct or right or not depends on how those arguments intersect with a particular human mind. Reading books by Ayaan Hirsi Ali seems to really helps inform perspective here.

I want to say it is not right to just go around killing people or stealing people’s stuff, but some may say that this is an ethical imperative. Think Russian and Chinese revolutions. Is Marxism or something akin to a post-Marxist communism a moral imperative? I think this is a decision that individuals make and argue for. I’m not sure there is a clear moral right here. (Millions or billions dead for the hope of a utopian future for all future generations?)

I perfer the models of Anarcho-syndicalism that existed healthfully in Spain before Franco did his thing.

Do we need “bad” people to do “bad” things on our behalf so that order persists? This is a theory that seems common and global at least in the more powerful countries. What meaning can those of us with somewhat normalized progress humanist values make of this and much of what is happening in the world?

More than a decade ago, I was at a Bioneers Event (eco\systems thinking\aware of global suffering) in New Bedford, MA and we had a long discussion about mining. A country had booted out foreign mining companies. They wanted to take control of their mineral resources and have more soverinty. On one hand this is amazing and empowering, on the otherhand, if mining continues, huge amounts of waste and downstream human \ eco harm is to come.
What is the answer here? Hard saying. Stop mining, stay poor, and have an accerating population of starving and angry people, or mine and poison people and the land.

Hard questions exist. We don’t have all the answers. We are all stumbling around in the dark. If you have answers, they may not be appropriate or valid for others. Perhaps they are. How do you convince people in an ethically sound way?

I’m hopefully not being cheap or intellectually dishonest here. Best I can tell this is usually most well done in books.

I personally want to see humanity coming closer to our potential of being an amazingly eco and loving civilization that can spread across the galaxy (Inner and outer). I don’t want to see Trumpy lies and BS or neoliberal imperialist BS hold us back and move us closer to an enslaved, less free and dying culture.

I believe in humans and human potential. I also believe it is a choice to believe in something. I could just as easily want to work against humanity for the sake of the rest of life on earth.

Revealed a lot here. Ethics is not a short subject, but this is a snapshot into my psyche at this point in time. Make sense? Happy to discuss further.

Post script: I read Sapiens, Homo Deus and “Enlightenment Now” this year. They were good for the most part. I really feel like they boiled down to – “I’m a humanist, and this is why you should be as well.” I didn’t hate it, and didn’t have anything to quite disagree with. They helped me have more hope. I’m happy with that. Wish it totally sold me, but I have to say I’m personally more in that camp than I was before. I also agree largely would like to see more people all in on science and the furthering of the human project.

Cancer Research

An info roundup. Hopefully, some non-cooky advice for you to dig into before or during a period of suffering from cancer. I’m not a doctor. I don’t pretend to be one on the internet. Please always work closely with doctors through your treatment. This info is meant to complement their work and is certainly not a complete guide to cancer, but a jumping off point for some complementary therapies or choices.

Here is a bit of an intro video that may hopefully help you learn more about cancer prep and adjuncts to treatment.

Tim Ferriss

Paul Stamets
Turkey Tail (w/ Niacin??)
How the anti cancer properties of turkey tail fungi saved Paul Stammets mother from terminal cancer

Dr Dom D’Agostino
Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer

Dr Rhonda Patrick
Cancer patients fasting up to 72 hrs before chemo lowered damage to immune cells & reduced biomarkers of cancer.
Dr Rhonda Patrick – Most Powerful, Immediate Steps One Can Take, On Getting Cancer Diagnosis

Rick Simpson Oil – RSO

What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

BlueBird Botanicals
6x or Complete
Perhaps isolate

Pu’er tea
Pu-erh Tea Inhibits Tumor Cell Growth by Down-Regulating Mutant p53
(likely many other studies on this)

Ketogenic Diets
All The Ways *Not* To Do Ketosis | Tim Ferriss


WimHof – Ice – TCell activation

Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans


Veganism vs Traditional Permaculture

A recent discussion on FB made me want to post it here.

I linked to a PBS Nova article about how veganism may not actually be the best thing ecologically for our planet moving forward. This debate is highly nuanced and I don’t think any one book or documentary can adequately capture the full range of items actually in play.

Here is the article. It was originally posted to FB by Robyn Francis, an australian permaculture teacher who may be one of the most experienced and seasoned permaculture educators left alive.

Link to article
This article supports one of the primary dogmas of permaculture which is that we need more perennial plants producing food, and less annual plants taking up space. Here is an article discussing this.

Dogmas of Veganism

After sharing this post, I had a comment from a friend. She asked if I had seen What the Health and Get Vegucated. I responded no, and that they were on my list, which they are.

Here is my response that I wanted to post, but didn’t.

I haven’t yet. I’m not talking about factory farming and eating poor quality grain fed stuff either, I’m more pointing at a holistic system that takes earth care into account.

This particular issue is something we discuss in permaculture design quite a bit. How do we use and heal land for best effect on humans animals and planet. Some of my work on permaculture can be found here Permaculture Salad and a local denver resource The GrowHaus if you want to check out what they are up to.

Soils need animals for soils to be maximally healthy. The planet has evolved for a long time with animals, and separating one from the other can’t work in the long term.

Annual plants are pretty tough on the earth. Killing all soil life before planing with a single crop  at a time. Followed by plenty of pesticides. This is one thing the people at The Land Institute are trying to address with perennial crops.

Almost as alarming as climate change is top soil loss. Top soil loss is happening at an alarming rate and if we don’t build soil actively, we are in trouble, and won’t have enough outdoor space to grow. Modern Agriculture that provides us with vegetables is a problem in this regard. See this Scientific American article on how we have a limited time of farming left on earth if we don’t make some major changes.

Some techy people are working on solutions with garden towers that won’t rely on soil, but the jury is out on if this will help take pressure off the earth enough for it to repair or be repaired to the degree it needs to for us to go on.

Eating the animals is a different kind of debate, as the article points to near the end.

This particular discussion is crazy complex, and I’m willing to be wrong, but from what I’ve studied, we do need a closer connection between perennial plants, animals and humans.

Food needs to be created more locally, and with more ethics. And we need to carefully have these discussions so that we don’t overstep what we actually know.

OK – end rant. More posts soon I hope.