by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Extrapolation, Free Enterprise, Human Condition
The movement to integrate peoples with disabilities into mainstream society is rooted in cultural awareness and technological advances that developed after World War II. What I find most fascinating is that the people who are the most physically dependent are actually messengers of a libertarian philosophy that generally runs counter to the values of the larger society. The Independence Living movement believes that everyone is entitled to live as independently as possible regardless of one’s physical capacity, each person should be enabled to exercise maximum control over their lives. It is not independence in a literal sense, but independence in a philosophical sense. The presence of people with disabilities provides a fresh perspective on how we can define what being a person means. People who are completely physically dependent are given control over their own lives to the fullest extent they can have. We have so much more to learn from their example – it can help us to understand life and liberty. The disabled community do not self-identify so strongly with their disability, but with what they are able to do. It is a magical transformation of perspective that all of us stand to benefit from. The hidden challenge […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Human Condition, Institutional Learning
Working in health care you work in a collection of systems. There is service delivery, information collection and dissemination, legal adherence, and even more. The administrators of the the health care system are always looking for efficiencies and ways to improve it so it can do a better job. While I cannot disagree with the nobleness behind this, they fail to understand the principle of GIGO or Garbage In Garbage Out. GIGO comes from the world of computer programming. There is a recognition in that industry that computers and programs are fundamentally dumb and they will only do what you tell them to do. If the user puts in garbage, then the user will get garbage back. The best programs cannot think for the user, they are simply tools. This has been lost on administrators and bureaucrats in health care (and likely elsewhere). The greatest system designed will not protect against laziness, incompetence, mistakes, and simple bad luck. This coupled with the gross deficiencies inherent in our socialized health care system, it is little wonder how Garbage In becomes Garbage Out magnified. Good system design has an important role to play, but like any instrument or tool, the user is […]
by Chris Billowsin Mental Mischief0 commentstags: Defining Life, Foolishness, Human Condition
There are a bunch of books and videos talking about the impending end of the world in 2012 as predicted by the Mayans. The Mayans are a long dead culture who appeared to have died themselves. You would think that given their perceived aptitude to prophecy, they could have avoided their own fate. Anyways, supposedly we have only four pieces of what were thousands of ‘books’ that talk about the cosmological system. It is like guessing the end of a book with only the first few pages. How can we be sure? Well, I guess pretending to be sure that the world will end in 2012 helps to sell lots of books To demonstrate the absurdity about predicting the end of the world, I pledge to give $1,000 Canadian to the author/blogger who is closest to correctly predicting the end of the earth in 2012. After the world ends, and your date is the closest to the date the world ends, you can contact me and I will Paypal you the money. No gimmicks or trickery here. Not only will you have the money but the personal satisfaction in being right.
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Customer Service, Defining Life, Human Condition
I just dealt with a situation where my financial institution originally said no to me when I tried open up a new business savings account. I expressed my frustration, then went ahead and asked another branch manager to do the same thing – he said yes. It just proves to me that people are more important than institutions. One person interprets rules one way, the other a different way. The thing to remember is not to ask for something that is unreasonable or illegal. In my case it was about the interpretation about a specific banking package. I explained to both how both the documentation and the staff below them interpreted the account the same way I did. That reasoning did not work with the person who said no, but thankfully worked with the person who said yes. Of course, I am more interested in bringing my personal business to the reasonable branch manager. Giving the answer the customer expects is easily the simplest way to retain them.
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Comprehensive Analysis, Human Condition, Political Opinion
In Canada and other western nations, government provides allot of services to its citizens. All of this is funded by taxpayers. The biggest problem is that governments and its agencies spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that ends up creating further obligations on the taxpayer. The Canadian Taxpayers Association tirelessly works to make government more accountable and while they can be too ideological and short sighted in their criticism of all taxes, I do agree with their general view that governments are bigger than they should be. Taxpayers are the source for all government income yet not all taxpayers are created equal and like any ecological system, some species are more critical than others. I see there being four different kinds of taxpayers, each distinguished by their importance to the healthy functioning of the tax and government systems. Essential Taxpayers – Individuals and corporations that work in private industry. In addition to consumption taxes, they also pay high personal income taxes. These guys are the main funders of the tax system and without them no system is sustainable. Productivity Taxpayers – Individuals and corporations that work in the private industry but do not earn much money or profit. Instead their […]
by Chris Billowsin Mental Mischief0 commentstags: Comprehensive Analysis, Defining Life, Human Condition
Through my collective experiences from learning about religious values to developing program guidelines, I see the existence of a continuum of guidance. It is as follows: Instinct – the basic guidance system that functions at our biological & survival levels. The rules of the jungle. Intuitive Guidance – how we interact with others through feelings. The rules of emotional and social intelligence. Ethical Guidelines – a critical analysis about how we treat others and what we value. Also known as a Statement of Values which is just a more refined and wordsmithed summary and is typically public shared. The rules of values. Morals & Social Mores – an established set of rules about moral conduct with a clearly defined set of consequences. Tends to be based around religious scripture. The rules of philosophy and religion. Common Law – an evolving set of laws that is enforced by judges who create precedent by their interpration of society’s values. Also known as Case Law. The rules of society. Legislative Law – political forces and individuals who consciously create and enforce law based on a combination of societal and political values. The rules of nation states. Regulatory Law – institutions that further enforce […]