Four Horsemen

Not a film that sees conspiracies, mongers fears nor blames bankers or politicians.  It's a film that questions the systems we've created and suggest ways to reform them.  An interesting documentary that questions the economic systems and belief systems at large.  There is a lot to take in, and if you're like me, it may take more than one viewing to comprehend the viewpoints presented.

FOUR HORSEMEN is an award winning independent feature documentary which lifts the lid on how the world really works. As we will never return to 'business as usual' 23 international thinkers, government advisors and Wall Street money-men break their silence and explain how to establish a moral and just society.

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace

This is the second in a series of documentaries from the creator of Century Of Self, Adam Curtis that challenges the idea of seeing the world in terms of systems.

This is the story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans, and everything else on the planet, as components – cogs – in a system.

Strangely this documentary is presented through the lens of a mechanistic point of view and does not make mention of our current understanding of the world from an energy based perspective.  Enjoy!

Gary Snyder - Mountains And Rivers Without End

The Beat Generation's zen poet, Gary Snyder in discussion with Michael Krasny on KQED's Forum.  They talk about the latest release of his epic poem Mountains and Rivers Without End as well other topics including ecology, zen, native american mythology, and man's relationship with nature.


Gary Snyder was the real life person behind the character, Japhy Ryder,  in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums.  In the book there is a passage that not only reveals Snyder's intent to write his opus poem, Mountains and Rivers Without End, but inspired Systems Mural Project.


"I'll do a new long poem called "Rivers and Mountains Without End". And just write it on and on, on a scroll, and unfold on and on with new surprises and always what went before forgotten. See, like a river or like one of them real long Chinese silk paintings that shows two little men hiking in an endless landscape of gnarled old trees and mountains so high they merge with the fog in the upper silk void. I'll spend three thousand years writing it. It'll be packed full of information on soil conservation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Astronomy, Geology, Chuang Tzu's travels, Chinese painting theory, reforestation, oceanic ecology, and food chains."

-Japhy Ryder from Jack Kerouac's THE DHARMA BUMS

To Understand the Shutdown You Have to Grasp the Mindset of the GOP Base

Read Joshua Holland's piece that helps us understand the attitudes and belief systems of the conservative factions that have brought the US government to a shutdown. (click on text)

His article draws from a Democracy Corps study based on a series of focus groups they conducted with loyal Republican voters.   It says,

"Evangelicals represent the largest group, followed by Republicans who identify with the tea party movement. “Moderates,” the third group, make up about a quarter of the party’s base, according to the pollsters.

Fear of a changing society is one thing that unites all three factions. The battle over Obamacare, write the study’s authors, “goes to the heart of Republican base thinking about the essential political battle."

Full study can be read here. 


The Story of Solutions with Annie Leonard


The Story of Solutions, released in October 2013, explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal. In the current ‘Game of More’, we’re told to cheer a growing economy – more roads, more malls, more Stuff! – even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting. But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn’t that be what winning means?


Bill Moyers with Joseph Campbell • The Power of Myth turns 25

25 years ago Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell discussed our systems of belief in this classic series of interviews from PBS.

In dialogues that span millennia of history and far-flung geography, the two men discuss myths as metaphors for human experience and the path to transcendence, touching on topics including world religion, heroic figures, and pop culture. This series demonstrates that, despite superficial differences between cultures, all stories are humanity’s story. (from Bill Moyers' website)

Set your TV to record.  It airs locally in San Francisco on KQEDplus Sunday March 3 at 9:30 am.  Buy the program online, watch it on netflix or listen to it here.

Overview • a film from Planetary Collective

‘Overview’ is a short film that explores the experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

Click to visit Planetary Collective's website for more information.

Century of Self

This is an award winning documentary from British tv that takes a look at the systematic campaigns to control and influence public opinions and beliefs during the previous century in American culture.  This is the first episode in the four part series.

Kqed's Michael Krasny with guest Neil Shubin - The Universe Within

He made scientific history when he discovered a fossilized fish that was the "missing link" between land and sea creatures. Now paleontologist and popular science writer Neil Shubin is focusing his attention on the links between humans, rocks and plants -- and how clues to the universe's 14-billion-year history can be found in our bodies. Shubin joins us to talk about his new book, "The Universe Within."

Brains are automatic, but people are free

Do you believe in total free will, are we natural automatons or a combination of both?  Michael S. Gazzaniga, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, gives his thoughts regarding free will as it relates to our understanding of the "mechanics"  of the brain.    Gazzaniga suggest it is both with "personal accountability being essential or the whole thing falls apart."