Saturday, December 31, 2011

Professor Jordan B. Peterson On Virtue

Updated: grammar ;)

TVO's "Big Ideas" series is currently showcasing an interesting talk from University of Toronto professor, Jordan Peterson - from his 2010 Hancock Lecture at Hart House, University of Toronto.

It ran twice last night; the first time through "The Necessity of Virtue" was enlightening - on the second listen I was enlightened all over again - I heard more layers and perceived more of the whole.

His multi-layered thinking is communicated clearly in a precise and sometimes amusing presentation. A great thinker AND a great communicator - a treasure to this world.

As such I'll be sure to listen to it again - so the embed here.

I think the practice method he lays out for connecting to your spiritual 'third eye' - through self-honesty, in order to "Be" in the world, and thus see it clearly, and act in it sensibly - is going to be very important as I continue to try to overcome Periodic Clinical Depression - with out medication via therapy and self learning.


Another element of the talk that has got me re-thinking some core beliefs is the idea that humans are as capable of 'evil' as they are of acting towards the common good.  Professor Peterson says his evidence is the record of the last 100 years - two World Wars and two political leaders - Hitler and Stalin he high-lights, who convinced whole populations to tolerate genocide and mass political murder and torture.

Key to his argument are the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment -

Somehow I have not thought through the evidence at at hand - I have erred in my world view. I have over emphasized the good in everyone with out looking very deeply at the instances of brutal savagery that we are capable of.

I think my error is that I have always felt it was important to emphasize that there is always a way to bring out the good in Anyone. I guess this comes from a great fear of the Mob that was instilled in me growing up by my parents who were greatly effected by the zeitgeist of the McCarthyist era anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950's. That's not to say that some people's behaviour is not on balance 'evil' - but that if the good in anyone is nurtured, it will over-come 'evil' behaviour. Thus it is the best defence against a return of such political movements.

I believe that the 18 years of nurturing which modern children require guarantees that the social is a powerful part of our nature. But Professor Peterson has made me reconsider the balance of my view - as it is also very true that that same social imperative can be twisted through organized human institutions to exploit great evil.

I've posted here at FilterBlogs on Professor Jordan B. Peterson before - "Jordan Peterson explains the ancient hard wired human brain in a material world" -


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Letter to Paul...

I received this video link from Paul Young, Health Promoter at South Riverdale Commmunity Health Centre. I'm on one of his email lists. 

The piece below started as a short thank you note back to Paul which got a 'little' out of hand; now it's an article that I hope helps those suffering from depression - a timely piece, importantly as at this time of year, when people need a positive take on this topic ( Unlike my last post on this - ).


Re: "23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?" -

Very well done!

I like those animated talks.

From my perspective, the content was also right on.

I've just recently become aware that I have suffered from bouts of clinical depression for most of my life. My behaviour patterns over that time can I think be linked to me trying to cope with the symptoms - but without understanding the whole.

I believe those behaviour patterns have included obsessive compulsive behaviours which lead to a variety of dysfunctional lifestyle choices - including addictions to a variety of drugs including alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, sugar (and a couple of others I won't mention here) - but also - long distance running, working too much, and reading obsessively, playing too much.
(one summer I played at a professional pace - in 4 Rec. Co-ed Baseball Leagues I attained over 400 AB's - the Major League minimum to be considered for the Batting Championship!).

Done in balance these are good things, but without an appreciation of the whole they can be very bad for your health - even deadly.

Recently an understanding of the whole has become revealed to me; though trial and tribulation, I was getting old - the end was nearer than the beginning - it was either find a balance though which I could attain my perceived potential - or end it.

I guess I found the truth less scary than the other way.

I've been taking steps to find that balance and battle that depression with out the use of prescription drugs ( which have all kinds of side effects, some of which are worse than what they 'cure' - or mask, is another perspective ).

These steps include writing daily ( researching, learning seems to be the kicker ), preparing meals at home from scratch ( thus healthy ingredients ), creating healthy social circles, and regular appointments with health professionals about my depression. I have noticed the single most important thing - that has the largest effect on my mental state when it is with-drawn from the regimen - is exercise.

I've always thought that doing exercise for exercise's sake was a strange way of living; I think it leads to a hedonism and - in this culture so full of advertising which temps us in that direction - that's the last thing I think I needed more of.

So I always try to get my exercise through doing something I love to do already; like playing baseball in a league once a week, or though cycling. The problem was where to 'go' in the winter months when one is unable to hold down a job, not to mention a little agoraphobic due to long term depression?

So, to use the doctor's analogy, I combined two of my medicines, into one. I ride my bike to daily activities designed to broaden my social networks!

I volunteer helping to off-load the Daily Bread food truck at the food bank where I receive food weekly. As well, everyday between 11am and 1pm I cycle to one of the Interfaith Committee Lunch programs held a various houses of worship around the East End of Toronto. Also I volunteer at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre's Bicycle Repair Clinic once a week.

All these activities require about a 30 minute ride to get to and fro. Unloading the Daily Bread Truck is an intensive 15 minute work-out - and the bike repair clinic is trades-person's work; it's physical by nature - so about 2 hours of low intensity exercise.

Added to these recently are some evening meetings towards social justice campaigns I'm interested in - most of which are quite close by and require about a 5 or 10 minute ride by bike.

As I said above, when events conspire against this regime, and I don't get this approximately 30 minutes per day of exercise - my depression symptoms roar to the fore.

Exercise is essential to the regime of "medicines" I'm taking.


Michael Holloway


Beach United - "Interfaith Lunch Program" -

FilterBlogs - November 8, 2010 - "Daily Lunch for the Hungry - Daily Table with Map thumbnails" -

South Riverdale Community Health Centre ( SRCHC ) - Bicycle Repair Clinic

Interesting serendipity:
Inside Toronto just published an article on the Interfaith Lunch Program - "Food for lunch and the soul at Beach Interfaith program" -


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Occupy Toronto "Mic Check Flash Mobs"

" This afternoon at 3pm, Occupy Toronto plans to do another "Mic Check! Flash Mob" - this time at Toronto's Union Station - a conversation with Holiday Travelers. 
Go and watch - or, Join the Chorus!  "

On Saturday December 17th 2011 Occupy Toronto members gathered inside Toronto's Eaton Centre at the Queen Street West South Entrance Pavilion and held a "Mic Check! Flash Mob".

'What's that?' One may ask. Until you've seen one, it's hard to explain...

On Saturday a group of 13 activists meet at a pre determined location and gathered in a circle. At an appointed time one person spoke loudly, 'Mic Check!' Everyone in the circle called back 'Mic Check!'.

This is how an individual at a Occupy General Assembly indicates to a meeting that they wish to speak to the meeting. Now, at the Eaton Centre Flash Mob, the person who yelled 'Mic Check!' begins to say what they wanted to say - in short phrases that are sentence fragments, melodic in nature, and that are like lines of a poem or a song - easy to remember.

Essentially the group begins to talk to shoppers.

Oddly, as soon as a group of people start talking in unison everyone in the Shopping Complex stops what they are doing and looks - it's a production, a play, and event, a TV show. People want to know what's going on!

Occupy activist "R" reports on what happened:

Hi Everyone,

This Saturday, a group of us (there were about 12) met up at Nathan
Phillip Square and mic checked the Eaton Center with our holiday
wishlist - for more say in the decisions that affect us, for our
government to stop the tar sands, for everyone listening to take this
conversations back to their homes. It went over incredibly well - over
200 people stopped to listen, and over 20 security guards came out
(although we managed to stay for about 8 minutes after they came). We
were so excited about how well it went and started to do it all over -
the bay, the foodcourt in the AMC building, the subway, the Bay
Atrium, Forver 21, Adidas, and Canadian Tire - each time we got better
and better, and each time people listened with an open heart! Hitting
eight locations, I think at least 800 people heard our messages, and
to think of all the stories they'll tell! We brought out 10 police, 2
undercover police, and at least 25 security guards....really shows you
the power of our conversation. Not only was it a successful outreach
tool, but we all had a lot of fun doing it as well, each time one of
us say...."ok, just one more"! we're going to do it again!

To change it up a little (we don't want to anger the Eaton Centre
Security Guards too much), we're going to flash Union Station with our
Tuesday, December 20th 3:30pm - meet at the big clock inside Union
Station. We'll decide specific locations once we are there.
- Dress in Costume! (please no scary costumes).

Once again the intro is (and I'll print off some copies again, maybe
we can hand them out to bystanders with instructions on how to join
Attention Travellers!
I am from Occupy Toronto
I have decided
 That this year
Instead of gifts filled with things, and stuff
I am going to occupy MY holiday season
With love
With the company of friends and family
And with meaningful conversation
I will take this opportunity of togetherness
To talk about the changes our world needs
Change is simple
It's as simple as a wishlist

Then we mic check one another's individual wishes!

Please spread this around,
It will be A LOT of fun!!!

Interestingly, everyone listens!

Listen to a conversation about the Occupy between Mic Checkers Roxy and Greg at:

"A Collection of Conversations" 
Occupy Holiday Season and Other Stories of Outreach

This afternoon at 3pm, Occupy Toronto plans to do another "Mic Check! Flash Mob" - this time at Toronto's Union Station - a conversation with Holiday Travelers.

Go and watch - or, Join the Chorus!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone.


Monday, December 12, 2011

I hate this...

Today is a cold, dark day in my head.

There is a sense of foreboding in every moment. Every senory intake has an aura around it - with-in it - that threatens to swallow me whole. A walk down the street is normal except for the knowledge I own that I'm on the edge; and it scares the hell out me.

I'm older than I used to be, and at these times I cling to the knowledge that it will pass. I can remember feelings that weren't like this. I know there are tools I can empoly that will get me through.

Like writing it out.

Like this.

I know the full moon causes emotions to become extreme: a little sadness becomes a hole to centre of the earth, annoying everything can become a cancerous rage.

I keep it all in check; not too much up - not too much down. I'm my own chemical therapy pharmacy.

I can do this with out the drugs because of every minute of every day of every year I am aware of my condition.

The drugs are replaced with walks and bike rides, cooking for myself every day, writing, abstinence from uppers and downers with long periods (that's my one out; I can do coffee with sugar and cigarettes), regular visits to health professionals (conversation with a mental health expert is an amazing thing), the volunteering. All these together keep this ship on the ocean; it's all towards times like this.

Like this. 

I hate this.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Minima IV Online Baseball Scorecard - Colour Menu on Top

Originally published at Blogger Baseball Scorecard -

Cross posted at Michael Holloway's Baseball Blogs -

This is a new "Minima IV" at-bat box design which renders four Colour Notations Scoring Menus along the right side of the At-Bat box --- instead of in four pop-up menu, as in my last post on this latest version in the Internet Baseball Scorecard.
( )

'Minima IV' AB box Image - rendered in Google Chrome

The colour notation 'Selection Menus' open by clicking on the appropriate 'base' icon. When you click on the First Base icon ( the furthest right black triangle on the peach coloured, infield icon ), the First Base menu opens, indicated by the 1 in the bottom white box. In this coding the colour notation menu remains live until you choose another menu by clicking on a different Base icon. Click on any of the colours in the menu and an appropriately coloured triangle will appear on the chosen side of the infield.

In My scorekeeping universe: red means Out, pink means Error, yellow means Fielder's Choice, lime green means Base Hit, forest green means the runner advanced via ball put into play by another batter, blue means Stolen Base, navy blue indicates the route by which a Run was scored and RBI awarded. The bottom two boxes are field green and white - for fixing mistakes.

The Miima IV At-Bat (AB) box is less than half the size of the "Minima III" baseball scorecard AB box - but it has many hidden functions that provide for lots of customization for the individual user. Each quadrant of the AB box has text areas for recording scorekeeper notations - five lines high that allow for "Project Scoresheet" scoring notation protocols - but instead of room for 13 characters as in the Minima III scorecard, there are 7 in this sleek version. All text areas have hidden scroll bars which allow for any amount of text - but to keep the look of the card clean, I suggest limiting your notations to 5 lines. By clicking the button a "notepad" is available for any extra notations you wish, or for notes. The notepad closes by clicking on the "notepad" button again.

All the elements discussed above are Live in this example:

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict

Monday, December 5, 2011

( reposted ) 9 Demands of the 99%

Re-Posted from "Working America".
All fields feed to the original publisher

Support Communities, not Wall Street

  1. Tax Wall Street for gambling with our money. Pass the financial speculation tax.
  2. Support education. Put teachers back in classrooms and ease the crippling burden of student debt.
  3. Keep working families in their homes. Pass a mortgage relief plan that puts the needs of homeowners above the greed of mortgage bankers.
  4. End too big to fail. Rein in the big banks NOW and hold the people who caused the financial crisis accountable.

America Wants to Work

  1. Fair share of taxes from the 1%. End the Bush tax cuts for the 1% and close corporate tax loopholes.
  2. Businesses should invest in jobs. Corporations must stop sitting on their profits and start hiring again here in America.
  3. Extend unemployment insurance. Millions of Americans are still out of work, and unemployment insurance is a vital lifeline.

Restore Democracy

  1. End corporate control of our democracy. Abolish "corporate personhood" and restore full voting rights to real people.


 yes  no 

Re-Posted from "Working America".
All fields feed to the original publisher