Wisdom Beat

Eclectic wisdom research

The Age of Wisdom?

By David Levy | theenergycollective.com

This week’s global release of the climate change docudrama The Age of Stupid has Pete Postlethwaite, apparently still alive and well in 2055, playing the custodian of an immense Noah’s ark of Earth’s cultural artifacts as climate change ravages the earth. Apocalyptic visions of a future beset by high cost oil and climate change are not new, of course. M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that oil production would peak in the United States between 1965 and 1970, and Colin Campbell has brought mainstream credibility to the concept of peak oil through papers and 2004 book The Coming Oil Crisis. James Howard Kunstler’s 2005 “The Long Emergency” provides a compellingly gruesome account of the collapse of civilization.

Just last week I heard Christopher Steiner, author of $20 per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rising Cost of Gas Will Change Our Lives for the Betterinterviewed on WBUR,  my local NPR station. Steiner, a writer for Forbes magazine, trained as a civil engineer at the University of Illinois, before graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. His book is premised on the “peak oil” hypothesis, that global oil production will soon start to decline as existing fields deplete and new discoveries fail to keep up. Combined with exploding demand in China, India, Brazil, and other parts of the developing world, fuel prices could rocket towards $20 a gallon for gasoline. His book examines what the world would look like at various price points along the way. Though highly speculative, it’s an interesting thought experiment and a challenge for long-term corporate strategic planning.

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

Workers thriving at 70, 80, and even 100

By Jason Hanna | CNN

“Jack Borden would like you to consider working well past retirement age. As a 101-year-old attorney, he has the credibility to encourage it.

Borden, who has been practicing law for the better part of 70 years, still spends about 40 hours a week at his office in Weatherford, Texas, handling estate planning, probate and real estate matters.

Retire? Not while he’s able to help folks.

“As long as you are capable, you ought to use what God gave you. He left me here for a reason, and with enough of a mind to do what it is I’m supposed to be doing,” said Borden, who also has been a district attorney and Weatherford’s mayor.

He arrives at the practice he shares with his nephew at 6:30 a.m. He goes home for lunch at 10:45 a.m., rests in bed for 45 minutes — doctor’s orders after pneumonia a few years back — returns to work by 12:45 p.m. and stays until at least 4.”

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

Can a Dead Fish Prove that Modern Brain Studies Are Bunk?

By Brett Israel | Discover

“Scientists have a neat little tool they use to read your mind. It’s called fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging for those not in the know) and it seems to be everywhere these days. Scientists are using it for everything from looking at your dreams to studying the brains of jazz musicians to IDing the part of the brain that is activated when we get grossed out.

But not everyone believes fMRI studies are all that useful. In fact, one group recently set out to show how the studies, if not done carefully, can be downright misleading. And to do this, they used dead fish.”

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

Invoke the wisdom of our senior citizens


“In our modern society there is a quest for real wisdom, wisdom that has been tested down throughout the ages.  As we look at the quality of decisions that are made today, one cannot help but wonder about the source or the wisdom of these decisions.  In a school or a community these decisions are constantly rendered and then tested based on their merit and the wisdom of the day.  As an educator I often wonder about the diminishing wisdom that is evident in our lives, our schools and our communities.  We must return to a time when wisdom instead of folly ruled the day.

There is a segment of our society that seems to have this wisdom that is lacking.  When you talk to our senior citizens you sometimes receive this wisdom in a simple statement, adage, thought, gesture or activity.  Senior citizens bring an added quality and quantity of wisdom.  Their times were far less complicated, their wisdom most profound.  Our generation today can glean some wise insights into life, living, family and community if they would listen to the wisdom of their seniors.  It is amazing that true wisdom does not change with time; you could say that it is timeless.  Our senior citizens possess a kind of timeless wisdom.  Their words ring true today as it did sixty or more years ago.  Perhaps we should honor them more because of their outstanding contributions.”

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September 24, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

Wisdom straight from the heart

WRITTEN BY SAL BARBA | Mukilteobeacon.com

“As we look within and around us, we realize that nothing exists in isolation, meaning everything is interdependent. Inching our way into a closer glimpse at those dimensions of our self, and into the self of others, we begin to realize that everything depends upon an infinite number of causes and conditions for something to arise into existence.

We become more deeply aware of the fragility of our humanity, and we hold ourselves and others in kindness and concern. As we become open and courageous; our illusions becomes evident. For example, many of us look in the mirror and discover that we really don’t want to see an ordinary person. We want to see a special person rather then someone who is struggling, who is selfish, arrogant, afraid, deceptive, neurotic, and have obstacles and problems.

Therefore, the conflict between what we see and what we don’t see potentially causes us tremendous pain. We avoid seeing ourselves as vulnerable to birth, old age, sickness, hardship and death. Unawake, we are imprisoned in the agony of self-importance, as well as the illusion of permanence; and when impermanence creeps into our reality, rarely do we welcome it with a smile and an open heart!”

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September 23, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

Preserving the wisdom of editors

By By Joel Kramer | Minnpost.com

Each day, MinnPost editors select and link to the Blog of the Day, the Website of the Day, and a Story of the Dayfrom outside sources. But their sagacious judgment (or whatever you choose to call it) is visible for only 24 hours, because when today’s selections are posted, yesterday’s disappear.

Starting today, we’re archiving those picks. So do you want to check out a gallery of iconic photos of New York City in the 1940s from Life Magazine, or an article in Scientific American about European scientists finding evidence of a rocky planet outside our solar system, or a blog on the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Those are all recent selections, so just click on the “More” links from the home page, and you’ll be able to find those and two more weeks of back picks. Going forward, all previous picks will remain on the site.

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September 22, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

The Big Similarities & Quirky Differences Between Our Left and Right Brains

By Carl Zimmer | Discover Magazine

“There is nothing more humbling or more perception-changing than holding a human brain in your hands. I discovered this recently at a brain-cutting lesson given by Jean-Paul Vonsattel, a neuropathologist at Columbia University. These lessons take place every month in a cold, windowless room deep within the university’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. On the day I visited, there were half a dozen brains sitting on a table. Vonsattel began by passing them around so the medical students could take a closer look. When a brain came my way, I cradled it and found myself puzzling over its mirror symmetry. It was as if someone had glued two smaller brains together to make a bigger one.

Vonsattel then showed us just how weak that glue is. He took back one of the brains and used a knife to divide the hemispheres. He sliced quickly through the corpus callosum, the flat bundle of nerve fibers that connects the halves. The hemispheres flopped away from each other, two identical slabs of fleshy neurons.

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September 16, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

Human brains better tooled up than monkeys

By Andy Coghlan

“Human brains light up when they see tools being used – but the sight fails to impress the brains of macaque monkey, our fellow primates, in the same way. In people, a particular brain region responds to tool use. This could have enabled early humans to understand how and why a tool worked, because it gave them early insights into cause and effect. Armed with this knowledge, they could work out in advance how tools could be used or modified to solve a multitude of new problems. Monkeys, by contrast, can be taught to use a tool to obtain a reward, but have little or no insight into the underlying concepts and forces that make it work.”

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September 16, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

The Wisdom of Whales

by Isha Judd | Care2.com

“Self-acceptance is inherent in all animals and can be best understood by observing nature. At Puerto Madryn in Argentina, for example, dozens of right whales come to breed in the calm waters surrounding the Valdes Peninsula. It is amazing to get close to such enormous creatures. They are the biggest animals in the world and surely among the most powerful, yet all they do is radiate love. It’s incredible. It’s all you can feel. They are pure peace, pure love, and yet they are so big. They look at you lazily through the shimmering water as if you’re some rare breed of insect, and then down they go again.

The whales come with their babies, and those babies drink two thousand liters of milk a day. So poor Mom spends most of her time nursing. All the baby wants to do is feed – he’d be happy to drink ten thousand liters of milk a day. When she gets tired of feeding him, she rolls over onto her back so he can’t reach her nipples. The baby starts slapping Mom with his tail in an attempt to make her roll over. It’s a relatively powerful thing to have a baby whale slapping you with its tail, but Mom just lies there in perfect peace. She lets him have his little temper tantrum and continues to rest, even when he’s getting annoyed. She doesn’t judge herself; she doesn’t think, I shouldn’t get tired so easily. I’m not giving enough to my children, poor things. Animals never judge themselves. To them everything is perfect.”

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September 15, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment

As school re-opens, our young people need wisdom

By Elder John Settles | Register Columnist

““Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with thy getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs: 4:7)

Schools are back in session all across our nation. Our educational system is facing great challenges on both the kindergarten-through-high school level and on the college level. While great opportunities for learning abound for our young people, great obstacles also await them.

Most people I talk to feel that one of the big problems with our educational system is that God has been taken out of the classroom.

When I was a young boy in grade school, we had daily devotions, complete with scripture and prayer. Today, the classroom is much different. No prayer or Bible reading is allowed. I tell our young people at church to keep a prayer in their hearts and the word of God fresh on their mind.

David taught Solomon as a young boy that seeking God’s wisdom was the most important choice he could make. Solomon learned that lesson well. When God appeared to the new king and offered to fulfill his any request. Solomon chose wisdom above all else.

Our young people should also make God’s wisdom their first choice. They can do this by asking God for wisdom through prayer. Amen.”

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September 15, 2009 Posted by | Wisdom Blog posts | Leave a comment