Why Do We Settle?

I’m sat here, in the glorious sunshine and suddenly a thought comes to me. Why do we choose to settle, to create a settlement to live in for years and years? More to the point, why do we pay hundreds of thousands of pounds, even millions, to buy settlement, one exact location for our own purposes. It’s a bit of an abstract idea but one which has got me thinking. 

Human civilisation has always had settlements for food, water, land wonder ship for cattle, and so on. But in modern periods, why did and do so many people buy one small area of settlement and live their for tens of years? I mean of course we all like to have a house, but why don’t we move more, explore more, do more. It’s a completely irrational idea of course, I realise that. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value or a point. 

The other day I walked past a house and looked straight through it, you could see through their front window straight through a a back window and into their garden. It suddenly made me realise how hollow houses are and what we actually buy. We settle and buy several thousands of terracotta bricks, stacked upon each other. We put floors and our bits and pieces in, but the very essence of a house and modern settlement, is a hollow stack of bricks and mortar. I find that almost remarkable really. We don’t settle in places of incredible beauty as much anymore, due to inconvenience, and we live in square rock boxes. We add sentiment of course, but because of this one point we never stray too far. We move here and there to other single box locations, but there very rarely seems much in the way of invention, discovery or something new. 

We don’t seem to strive to live in a remote, yet beautiful landscape in a small but relatively un-important shack which simply serves a purpose to help keep us warm while we observe the worlds beauty and landscapes. Settlement almost gives us an excuse to not explore- “oh its to far away”, “bloody mortgages are hard to get”, “too much to move”. Why don’t we use these excuses as an excuse to go out and explore? Settle in hundreds of places globally, not just one static spot for a few years and then move to the next. 

For me, it’s a minor epiphany which has really got me thinking. In one swipe it has taught me that I don’t want to be stuck in one brick box for ages. I want to explore, I don’t care what I settle in, I care where I go to discovery and explore. Settling gives us excuses, discovery gives us no end of possibilities and wonders. 

Why I Care Little For How People See Me

Nowadays it seems as though people care more about how people see them, then how they see themselves. People are constantly worrying how they look, what they are wearing, but most important to this blog, what they are doing. Whether that is dancing, running, laughing, anything, people can be made to feel awkward and weird from how people purvey what they are doing. I find this terrible, and what is worse is how this effects people.

In the last year or so I have taken to simply not caring what people think of me. At university it has seemed everyone is who they are, and no one really cares if they are doing something weird or strange, everyone accepts everyone else far more than I ever found in school. Inspite of this there is still issues of how people talk about their fellow humans. You walk down the streets and people still laugh at someone for their hair, for the music they are listening, even for something as simple as cycling. I believe this needs to stop. This kind of subtle ‘making fun of’ nature seems inherent in some people, but that does not mean it is not able to change. Without doubt humanity tends to hate to hate itself too much. We fight each other enough, let alone the amount of hatred we add to this purely through our laughter of how someone is acting.

A while ago I used to be aware of what people thought of me all the time, whether it was what I was wearing, what I was listening or watching, or simply what I was doing and my opinions. I am no longer like this. I don’t care at all. People can make fun or my new long hair, my music choices, my love of superheroes and my absolute positive mental attitude but it does not effect. If anything it makes me stronger and want to prove these people wrong, show them I don’t care and because of this how much more happiness and time I have in my life instead of spending it making fun of a 6ft tall guy who loves Taylor Swift, I simply don’t care, and feel sorry for those who care enough to make something of it.

I have never been a particularly strong character, I have always given in to other people but that is starting to stop now. I show my views and feelings, I challenge people on why they think it is ok to laugh at someone just because of who they are. I also go against any negativity I find as I simply believe that is  abad way to think and will lead us to nothing accept sadness, something we need less of in this world and not more.

I prefer to always look at the positive side, it leads to so many more possibilities and hopes yet people find this naive. Yes, is it slightly naive, of course it is. But what is wrong with that? Id rather naively hope for a better world then go along and fill my life with negativity and no hope.

So what I ask of you is to not allow how people see, talk or think of you to matter. We create our own paths in life and it is pointless to change that just because we are scared of what someone may say about a new CD we bought. We are stronger together, supporting each of our eccentricities instead fo laughing at them, humanity is unique and different, and it needs to stay that way. It is better that way, so don’t try to single someone out for being brave and being themselves, because they are just moving forward while everyone else is standing still.

Let Us Ignore Climate Change No longer

Climate change is one of, if not the, largest problems facing humankind today and into the future. It has the ability to wipe out large swathes of land and its associated populations, as well as cause starvation, extreme temperatures, decreased water and food supplies and so many other factors that could be hugely detrimental to the human race, as well as the animal kingdom and the overall natural environment. Yet, inspite of all this its relatively forgotten by people and the media. Now this may just be me, but I feel it’s just ignored as a problem, as though it is too big to be conquered.

Now, it is a huge issue and one that cannot be fixed in a day or a week, it will take hundreds of years to undo what we have done, but that does not mean this cannot be changed and we can start to turn back the damages we have caused through our exploitation of fossil fuels, as well as deforestation and several other factors. Climate change spells very few benefits, even if there are a few, they are forgotten for good reason as there is over-whelming negative consequences. Yet why do people not talk about this? It’s not like it’s a small or temporary problem, its one that will get worse until we make changes, which if people do not know about, they will not care about and therefore will not make the changes necessary. Whats worse is that usually one climate change denier usually gets a lot more exposure than 10,000 scientists telling that it will happen and how it will happen.

More shockingly, for me anyway, is that people only think about this over-arching problem when every now and then we have an event hat may have been made worse by climate change. A flood, increased storms, these kids of events wake people up to whats happening, but only for a moment. Then the sun comes out again and they forget. This is an issue we cannot ignore much longer. Many say we have gone past a tipping point, and it would not amaze me if we had, however, this does not mean we can try to reverse some of the effects climate change could worsen. For many the economics of changing to a cleaner world is the big point that halts any change. Our lack of being able to see past the four-year political cycle I believe halts the long-term changes we need to make. Business and energy are huge contributors to the causes of climate change, yet only small percentage of each company is looking at renewables or changes to how they work to lower their effects, because right now it makes no monetary sense. That is incredibly foolish as in the future it will make a lot of sense, whether it relates to money or not. These people are vein in thinking it wont happen, or just selfish to think it may not happen within their lifetime so why should they care. It is this thinking that is halting any progress to a cleaner better future, a future we all need.

Big changes are needed and one again I am going o use that favourite word of mien, ‘force’. I believe we need to force changes, socially we need to band together and realise what climate change could do to the common woman and man, what it could spell for our children, and how it could ruin the lives of millions. We cannot continue to rest on our laurels and just think of todays energy prices, but force changes in how energy is created in the first place. Climate change will affect everyone, whether you have one pound in the bank or one billion, you may still be wiped out by its effects.

I believe we can make the current world return to a cleaner, more natural world, it will take time, patience and so much more, but it must happen. Like everything, that initial change is what is needed.

Passion

Passion is one of the key drivers within my life, as well as the lives of many others. It pushes us to do what we want to do to, to succeed, to make changes, and to look for perfection. Without passion the world would be a drab and dull place. Passion has led us to our greatest discoveries and our most brilliant of minds. However, I cannot help but feel that in this modern era, people are looking down on passion, as though it is a naivety and a weakness, when really it is anything but.

For me, my passion to change the world, to help others, to improve lives and bring focus on to things that truly matter, are what keep me going. They are what keep me driven for success and get me through the worst of times. I know that passion can help me make changes, to help me achieve my dreams, and without it every day would be a lot longer and a hell of a lot more boring. I know a few other people like me, who are passionate about certain things, issues or general life. I get along with these people very well, no matter what their passion is. I am starting to feel it is beginning to become far to hard to find people with sincere passion, and when I do find one I see how some people rip them apart for being themselves and aiming for that ultimate glory of a better world. These kind of people, like me, live in the future. We have learnt from the past but no the only way to create a better now is to see what we want in the future, and demand it for here, right now. The fact that some people laugh and mock this both angers and disgusts me. To laugh at someone for their sincere passion for something, no matter what it is, its rude and simple-minded. I think anyway.

Without passion and those who have it, the world would be nothing. W would have no incredible music, no amazing films, no shocking world changes, and no hope of change or a better future. Therefore, when I found someone like myself who is truly passionate I make sure people do to laugh at them. I try my hardest to ensure these people are viewed with greatness, and not laughed at. Yes some of their dreams are out there, a bit different, difficult and such, but who cares? They are striving to be the best, to better something, and to overall improve our world, who are any of us to deny them that? To laugh or mock someone for wanting to live in a peaceful, clean and green future, but for it to happen today, is a terrible thing. These rare passionate people have vision, they demand changes and no excises. They want to make a difference and not just glide on through life. I find passionate people fascinating and wonderful and I hope I find ever more numbers of them, for the world needs these people greatly.

Do we force development?

http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3682_f08/Articles/Ferguson%20-%20The%20Anti%20Politics%20Machine.pdf

At the top of this blog I have linked what I believe is a very interesting article. I will not much say about it as I will just be repeating its points, and I would rather people read the words straight from the source and from a far superior writer to me.

The title ‘Do we force development?’ is something I have never thought off until only about an hour ago when reading this paper. It raises the point of whether ‘western’ organisations almost force development upon countries that may not even want it, or force it in ways that simply do not work. A key example it gives is the World Bank and food production and stocks. Basically what the paper appeared to show to me, was that organisations like the World Bank want to create agricultural development in LIC’s and the undeveloped countries with prime ‘real estate’ for agriculture, so that the country can export these goods and help provide sustenance for the rest of the world which is growing in population size and needs feeding. It is a point that really grabbed my attention and interest.

If it sounds interesting to you I would definitely justify reading the paper. Of course there’s the usual biased stuff that we will get from every paper, but inspire of that we can’t forget about some of the points, very legitimate points, it does raise about how western organisations and countries try to ‘help’ and develop those in poverty and in need of help, just maybe in ways we don’t think of or maybe just ignore.

The Underdeveloped and the Developed

Many would say there are two types of worlds upon our little planet. Those which name themselves developed, and others named the underdeveloped. Some also may call these the first and third world, with the second world and newly industrialised countries forgotten about somewhat. There are the use of several acronyms, such as HIC’s (High Income Countries) and LIC’s (Low Income Countries).  To me, it seems these clear difference between the world needs to be blurred, if it isn’t starting to already, and ripped down, replaced by a singular world. Unfortunately at the moment this appears a pipe dream.

The world is seemingly constantly being pulled apart, segregated, or simply put in a state where some countries and lives matter a lot more than other countries or lives. It is a shocking thing, one that has just become normal and part of our lives, whether we like it or not. No one wants poverty, yet some companies and organisations force it upon those ‘underdeveloped countries’ whether we know it or not.

I recently had to read several segments of a book entitled “The Shock Doctrine”. It truly was a very interesting read, and one I would recommend to many people. The book talks about many different things, but the main section I was reading was effectively how US businesses, US academic organisations and US secret services have tried to stop any sort of development or progress in some poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries. One very interesting example was Chile. Although not suffering from poverty or a lack of infrastructure even close to some other countries, it is nonetheless not exactly what people would call ‘fully developed’. In the past 40 years it has been trying to grow its industry and provide more opportunities for its population. In the 1970 a new, revolutionary government was put in place, a government which wanted to get people the wages they deserved without massively long working days, they wanted a fair development programme and hoped to bring many out of poverty. However, some of their plans would have effected the US, through resources they would not allow to be exploited, and the export and import market. It would have effected the US so much that the CIA had a project, funded by the government, to halt this development. Californian economic professors were also placed in Chilean universities to effectively brainwash them into thinking money and profit meant all, and that cheap labour force was needed. Effectively, it halted the incredible progress Chile was hoping to make. It is an incredible story, and one I would recommend people to read about. A lot of this info is from that book which I have not had the time to research so I am sorry for any biased or warped opinions.

Inspite of that, it does show the true way in which the world is run. I remember my old sixth form teacher passionately telling us how the developed world keeps the underdeveloped world in a state of, well no development. It means they can get cheap labour, exploit their resources, spread their values, and so on. Some say it is a modern form of colonialisation, but I am not sure on that. It is a shocking thing and something we all pay into everyday without realising. We buy items created in these areas of the world where labour is cheap, and through our purchases we force an increase in things like sweatshops, and overall bad quality work. We create a demand that many businesses want to make the most of, and increased profits can be increased even more from cheaper labour. In all it is a pretty remarkable idea and one I believe we need to start to think of more and more.

We give billions in aid each year through charities and country aid programmes, why are not bigger changes happening, is it because we are not giving the best charities the biggest amounts, or because every country has its hidden agenda, that a lot of the time isn’t actually that hidden.

It maddens and saddens me, I learn more about this subject each year, starting out with that incredible teacher I mentioned earlier. It is one of the reasons I aim to spend my life helping others and hoping to improve peoples lives and making sure every child in whatever country can grow up in a world no different to the other. A world where hopefully, one day, there will be no developed or underdeveloped, no third or first world. Just a singular entity, equal and fair. It will never happen in my lifetime, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t aim for it, that just makes me want to work for it all the more.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on a big matter, a huge topic and a massive idea to take in and actually realise the system we live in. I just hope together we can force a change and finally bring everyone up to an equal level.

Disasters

Disasters, whether conflict, natural, biological or chemical, and many others, are subtle reminders of our underlining weakness as humans. Our need to protect ourselves from them is a constant battle for some, and not even in the minds of others. It is quite remarkable how one disaster event can bring the most developed nations to their feet. It is remarkable, and something I find fascinating. So fascinating intact, that I hope to go on to study it at Masters level and hopefully, with enough blood, sweat and tears, go into a career of disaster management.

The key thing that grabs my attention so much towards disasters is the relationship between some of these very physical disasters and the human world. This interaction grabs my focus. Something like floods can show the weakness of an areas planning, an earthquake could quite literally rip open California, genocides and conflicts continue to occur worldwide, and yet are some of the most forgotten and ignored disasters. This human-on-human disaster is hard to study, not in that there is a lack of info, but the views and ideas you are dealing with.

The reason I am writing about all this is that I feel we don’t truly see the vulnerability of any society or nation until you see some sort of disaster thrust upon them. Whether this is a 1 in 200 year flood event, or a 10 year-long civil war, it shows both the best and worst of us, and shows how equal we truly all are. When a disaster hits, your money may not stop it from ruining your life. I say may, as money can create safety, but through large flood schemes, earthquake proofing, preparedness, but one single man or women bank full of money will never protect them from anything. Disasters put us on a level playing field. When a hurricane hits parts of the south of the USA, it rips apart a million dollar mansion just as much as a rundown house in the less fortunate areas of town. Disasters single-handedly shows every persons vulnerability, shows them their true human side.

Disasters are becoming an ever more pressing issue and one we have to keep an eye on, and most of all prepare for. Blame is a lot to do with what happens after a disaster strikes, but should it not occur continuously before, blame being turned into social pressure to make sure emergency plans are in place and being constantly evaluated. We love to get angry after an event, but usually months after many of the world forget, and with no media presence, a lot of the time nothing else happens. This need to evaluate and delve plans constantly before now appears to be growing, and hopefully getting to a state where it truly can protect and help those at risk when some disaster occurs.

Of course, these kind of plan cannot bemused for things like conflict. Plans could be put in place but in a very different way. For instance, the uK has riot plans for areas, but places in Asia and Africa do not have the resources, time or social justice needed to force and create this plans. Conflict is something I have far less knowledge on but a lot of passion for. Nonetheless it is a disaster that cannot be forgotten, especially as these are not point sources of disasters but long-term, deadly events.