Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Purpose Plans and Passion

"A plan is a tool that we use to fulfill a purpose, and passion is the fuel that keeps us going."
Purpose, what are we meant to do? Why are were here?. People have spent their entire lives trying to answer this question, trying to live their lives. One of the fundemental principles is the idea of a plan. If we don't know where we are going, if we don't have a goal, if we have not set a plan. How we will know when we get there? How will we know if we reached our purpose?

I am a big planner, one might say I tend to plan "too much". But I often find myself stuggling to finish things which I have started. Sometimes I will have bursts of inspiration. An idea just shouting at me to be worked on. An idea that takes away from everything else I am doing, demanding itself to be completed. I become very passionite about this idea. Perhaps it is completed a video game level, learning a new parenting skill, writing a blog entry, or designing a new software program. (One of the latest is selling stuff on ebay)

The problem is this short term burst of inspiration/passion, once completed, leaves my life back in disarray, and it is hard to re-evaulate and 'get back to' the plan.

My Epiphany - Passion is a tool. It is something we can use to keep ourselves motivated on the 'less exciting' tasks of our lives. Left on its own, passion will come in and out on a whim. But it is actually a key ingredient in the planning process. We set a vision of where we would like to be, generate more and more interest in this vision. This starts our mind and soul working together to fulfill the vision, and we build the passion to keep it going.

The "trick", which I have yet to master, is to learn to use our imagination and creativity in the visioning process, to generate the passion if and when we needed it, at the specific time and place where we want it.

Show Links:

Inspiration and Passion by Dr Wayne Dyer

The Duality of Passion

Maurice Turmel Passion and Purpose

Finding your Passion - Coffee with Deb

The Power of Intention

Passion and Purpose: How to Identify and Leverage the Powerful Patterns That Shape Your Work/Life

Monday, April 21, 2008

Can the state force your marital status?

One of the debates, I often find myself involved in is the idea of "Common Law" Marriage.

First of all, let me clear up the first misconception. Being 'common law' and being 'married' are not the same thing from a legal point of view.

There are similarities. In Canada, many couples who have declared themselves as common law are guaranteed similar rights and privileges under the law as married couples. Although specific local laws can vary. The basic premise is the same. If you're in a loving committed relationship with another individual, live in the same household, you should get the same rights as those who sign a piece of paper and pay for a 'marriage license'.

The main legal separation is that marriage is a legal contract is entered between individuals. In a common law relationship there is no legal paperwork to be completed or signed, any "contract" is purely verbal. Now, verbal contracts to have power under the law, but are not as cut as dry as paper contracts.

Now, the thing I find myself passionately arguing about is a phraseology that will me found in many government documents, such as tax applications, and applying for government assistance and/or Childs Tax credit.

These documents define the necessary conditions required to be guaranteed the same/similar rights and protections as a married couple. The fact that you meet these conditions is not sufficient to define your status as common law.

Let's state this again for clarity:

Q is necessary for P : If you want to be a considered common law couple you must meet the conditions required under law

Q is not sufficient for P: The fact that you meet the conditions under law, does not require you to be a common law couple.

There is one key missing condition in the definition given by the government of Canada to truly create a necesary and sufficient relationship

Both individuals of the couple, must agree to be within a common law relationship
This agreement can be shown to be true, once both individuals have declared themselves to be living as common law. For example, perhaps they both refer to each other as husband and wife amongst themselves, family and friends.

It does not matter to whom they have made this declaration. -> Once the necessary conditions exist, only the declaration remains. So for example if you declare it on your tax form, you are common law, if you declare it on your childs tax credit application you are common law. If you declare it to you mom you are common law...Period. If you declare it in one place, and meet the necessary conditions, you are common law. So, if you and your partner declare it to your parents, you meet the legal requirements, and then you do not delcare it on your income tax, you would be committing fraud.

Of course, after declaring it to your parents, the relationship might devolve, in which case you can revoke your declaration (or you just stop living together), and the common law ends. (ie: There is NO SUCH THING as 'common law' divorce).

So why is this even worth ranting about, I am a happily married guy, but I rant on to try and help avoid mis-conceptions that exist. I am tired of hearing people telling others they are common law. No one can declare you to be common law. You are responsible for making that declaration to others.
In conclusion, you get specific rights, and benefits once you declare yourself as common law. It is not about trying to find a loop hole in our social benefits system. Some people try to do this. The idea is instead of getting "married" you just have a "commitment ceremony". This way [they think] the government cannot combine their income and reduce the social benefits they are currently receiving. Of course, as I have just said, this would still constitute fraud because the couple has declared their relationship status to a large group (via the commitment ceremony), so once they meet the remaining legal conditions, they are common law, and therefore have the rights, benefits, and responsibilities as in a married (or common law) relationship.

So, I defend the rights of others to defend their rights not to have any label placed upon them that they didn't agree to. But if you did agree to it, you will reap the benefits, and at the end of the day the only costs you might save, is the bill for the marriage license itself [and I suppose a wedding and stuff, depending on how frugal you are].

Add audio protion

Understanding Necessary versus Sufficient Conditions

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bulding a better mouse trap

It is easy to try and buld a better system. Contrary to popular belief, it does not take a lot of intelligence to look at a process, point out it's flaws and develop a "new system" that you believe will solve all the problems.

It is then VERY EASY, for someone to look at your system and point out it's flaws, to tell you why it won't work and develop an even better way.

Now, perhaps you are reading a story, someone's suggestions for improvment and you find youself agreeing with everything you are reading. Furthermore, perhaps it drives a passion in you, to share the information with others. To push for a better system, to send letters to your congressman, etc.

Or perhaps, you have come up with a better system youself. Perhaps you are tired of the ways things are currently working, and you are trying to find a better way.

Let me first say I commend you for your idea, whatever it is, I admire you for your passion. Any system, or process always has rooom for improvement, and hindsight is always 20/20 right?

But one word of caution, there is no 'perfect' system. No matter how many times you go over it in your head, no matter how much you've convinced yourself and others around you, that your system is far better then what exists currenly..take a minute and put yourself in the shoes of those that came before you. Rest assured, the existing system was put in place by some group of individuals that felt like you. They felt they came up with the best system possible, and if your system is approved, rest assured, it will be subject to the same scruntity in the future.

So I'm not suggesting don't try to buld a better mousetrap, I'm simply suggesting to consider that people worked hard to put the existing system in place, and yes, they probably made some mistakes, as we all do.

It may be impossible to come up with idea that everyone will agree with, but if you can design, implement and/or fix something that works better for the majority...now that takes intelligence !

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling

[Editos Notee: Here is one of my favorite articles about spelling. It was orginally credited to Mark Twain, but there is some debate that it should be attributed to M.J. Yilz] ... For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld. ... The link below is to a more serious document from Mark Twain regarding the simplificaiton of our alpha bet


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Science...it's not real..it's all just faith

Often we believe (falsely, I might add) that there are 2 camps of people. Those who believe in 'science' and those who believe in 'faith'. Of course you could be a "mix of the 2" believing in science when it makes sense to you and faith for things like God, and heaven and such stuff.

Regardless of what camp you fall in, please understand that its all faith, nothing more and nothing less. You can take any "scientific" principle and if you examine it and break it down, you always get to the bottom statement.
I believe "cause and effect" (causality) exists in our universe.
Now I'm not saying not to belief in cause and effect. Life becomes really, really complicated to abandon the belief in cause an effect. Simply:
It is reasonable to assume 'X" is true, if we find that when not beliving "X" leads us to question all of our other existing beliefs.
Not believing in causality could potentially break every scientific proof you believe to be true. My favorite analogy is the "Pyramid of Knowledge"

Imagine that all your beliefs, "truths", form a pyramid in your mind

If someone questions a belief you have in one of the top of items, it's no big deal you can fairly easily abandon it as needed. But if someone tries to remove one of the bottom pieces..now you have a BIG problem. Because if you stop beliving in one of the bottom items, your risk your whole pyramid falling apart.

Whether your are a so-callled "religious fanatic" or a "die hard scientist", no matter how open-minded you say you are, you don't want people to touch the items on your bottom pyramid. You will be very passionite about holding on to these items, possibly even defending them to the death.

It could of course be argued, that the pyramid bulit by "religion" may be easier to break then one built by the "scientist". However, there are some pretty strong religious beliefs, so have fun, it's a nice adventure.

Where 2 competing explanations exist for a theory, the simplist is the best

In general, Science tends to take a logical procedural flow from one belief to the next, each time buliding more and more rational confidence that a statement is true. Leaps of faith and jumps in logic do not apply in Science (supposidly).

For a great example of this idea, check out the Star Trek Voyager epispode Sacret Ground ]